The Problem of Pain


I've been dealing with some lower back pain for the past week that has kept me from sleeping well and has made sitting in my chair in front of my desk a trial. 

Considering most of my day is spent sitting in my chair in front of my desk, it's been pretty rough these past few days.  

I went to the Chiropractor yesterday and got an adjustment on all of the areas that seem to be out of alignment.  They told me that my hips were the biggest culprit to my lower back issues and that it would take a while to fix them.   

So even though I'm on a path to recovery, I'm still dealing with the pain, and this morning it's really having a go at me.  

I got to thinking yesterday about the presence of pain, and how it can change the way you feel about virtually everything in your life.  

Chronic pain issues can keep you preoccupied, distracted, and unable to fully be present and enjoy even the good moments.  It can also make bad moments seem worse. 

In a similar way, the pain that we experience at an emotional or spiritual level can also exact a terrible toll. 

The emotional hurts we've experienced, or the spiritual wounds we've endured can occupy us as much or more than any kind of physical pain.  

We often carry that pain around, seeking to numb it in ways that can be self-destructive and harmful to others.  It can serve as a constant reminder of past failures, mistakes, or the harmful actions of others toward us. 

But, if we are willing to surrender our pain, to learn from it, to treat it properly with patience, it can also help us to grow in our faith, and lead us on the path to becoming our best and truest selves.  

Leo Tolstoy once wrote: 

All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.  

There is a song by the band Switchfoot that comes to mind as I write this.  One of the lines in the lyrics declares: "The shadow always proves the sunshine." 

Our pain can be cast as a shadow on our lives, but that same shadow also helps us to see the light more clearly. 

I don't think it's God's will or desire for us to experience pain, and it's definitely not God's will to desire for us to walk around with it, carrying it with us wherever we go. 

But God is present with us in our pain, standing in solidarity with us as we deal with our hurts.  And I believe that God is ultimately the source of our courage to seek help, find treatment, and come to a place of healing.  

If you are dealing with emotional or spiritual pain today, know that you are not alone.  There are others of us who know those same feelings.  And there is a loving, and understanding God by your side in the midst of it. 

And for anyone who is dealing with chronic physical pain... I want you to know that I offer my prayers for your strength and endurance, and also your healing.  

Don't become so obsessed with the shadows in your life that you cannot lift your head enough to see the light that shines all around you.  

May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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