Spiritual pain

Published 7:40 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

Pain is such a common symptom.

Do you know pain?

Of course, you do!

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We are all intimately familiar with pain. For point of this discussion there are two types of pain. There are those pains caused by physical changes and there are those pains caused by emotional changes.

Pain is somewhat indescribable, actually. When I tell you my knee hurts because I twisted it, you can understand what I am talking about because you have had similar injuries and you can relate to me through your experience. Pain is actually part of what helps us relate to one another. All your child has to say is, “Mama, it hurts” and you fly into full-mother protection mode because you know that means something is wrong.

There is no doubt that when the knife slips and you cut your finger that it hurts! When you stump your toe on the table, when your appendix gets hot, when you have a migraine or a toothache, pain is there, and the pain is real! Physical pain is essential!

Think about it. If it didn’t hurt so much to stump your toe, you might have broken a few more of those toes by now. If it didn’t hurt to touch something hot, you or your child might have sustained damaging burns. Chest pain encourages us to go to the doctor and that fast step can be life-saving. So, not all pain is bad. You might even say pain can be good, helpful; wouldn’t you agree?

There is also emotional pain that is very, very real, although often even less well understood.

When I talk with a mother who has lost a child, that is a very real pain. When I listen to a lady whose husband and love of her life has died, that is real pain. When I talk with women whose husbands would rather spend time looking at pornography than cherishing their bride, that is real pain.

It seems that our culture has moved so fast and developed so many alternatives for entertainment and distraction, that we can easily lose our perspective. I don’t know how we can get so off-track that we allow a two-dimensional fantasy on a computer to replace the completeness promised us by God in our marriage vows?

That is just one example of how we can aggravate the pain that we are bound to be exposed to in this life through misdirection.

There are so many others!

Physical pain and emotional pain can both become spiritual pain. I think about it in very simple terms. If there is an injury, the quicker it is addressed, the less likely it is for the pain to become spiritual. There are so many distractions and it is so easy for us to take our eyes off of our calling.

If we lack a spiritual direction, we are prone to false headings. The author of Hebrews tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.”

Sometimes we let pain interfere with that perspective and we start to head in unhealthy directions where the reward seems more immediate and obtainable. It is possible that when a significant physical or emotional pain comes along, we may be tempted to latch on to such a pain because we can understand it better than the spiritual darkness we have been dealing with.

It is also easier for our families and our health care to get wrapped up in the more obvious problem, never seeing the inner issues.

There are patients who have bad backs or bad hearts or bad headaches. There are others who have lost a loved one or a job. It can be very tempting to make that problem the focus and center of our daily thinking. The pain then becomes an excuse that keeps us from pursuing the full life that we are promised.

Instead of putting God first, family second, and others third; we may start putting our pain first and interpreting everything else in light of it. Instead of being a child of God who has a pain, we may become all about our pain, making it a false god because of the distraction.

The past often speaks through pain. It happens when women have been abused. It happens when women have been abandoned. It happens when women have had great loss in their life. It happens when women wander by centering their priorities on dating or shopping or children and never pursuing their spiritual center and purpose.

And, it just as easily happens in men.

When we have spent our time wandering in the worldly, we are more prone to any distraction that leads to attention. That can be new fashion, a new vehicle or boat, or an old pain that takes over our focus.

Who are you?

Are you a pain with a name?

Or, are you a child of God who has had a pain?

Don’t let the pain control you! Don’t let it distract you from being the person you were meant to be!

We each have a calling to pursue and Godly gifts to enjoy! Always remember, “fix our eyes on Jesus.”

If you are searching for deep healing, that Gideon Bible has helped many a wanderer and it can help many more.

For more information or to view more articles written by Dr. Don Robinson, go to his Web site at www.brgyn.com.