Being in physical pain has made me think about the difference between emotional pain and physical pain and how spirituality works in each. These are musings that are still being formulated so I’m not claiming clarity or wisdom. Just ramblings and I’d love to hear your ideas.
I think in the past I would have just jumbled the 2 together. Pain is pain. But I’m wondering if emotional pain can be alleviated by spiritual means (trusting in God, prayer, surrender, repentance, meditation, etc.) But physical pain, unless it is supernaturally relieved by God isn’t helped by prayer, confession, greater trust or spiritual dependence upon God. Now I do know that stress can cause physical problems. So I suppose relieving stress through spiritual, devotional means could help. And sin can, (and I stress “can”) cause physical illness/disease. I can’t remember the verse but I’m pretty sure there is a verse about that.
But if our physical pain is not caused by spiritual means, then spiritual practices won’t help.
Now, I truly believe that trusting God and being empowered by Him for joy in the midst of emotional and physical pain is our calling. It is how God uses physical pain to grow us but (and this is the point): it won’t relieve the physical pain.
What do you think?
On another note: I promised to talk about stretching. Evidently my physical therapist and chiropractor believe stretching those taut muscles is very important for healing this kind of back pain–sciatic pain. And I’m supposed to feel the stretch–not pain, but the stretch. Sometimes it borders on pain and so I have to tell myself, “this is good. It feels good to stretch. It’s uncomfortable but there’s purpose. Keep it up even though it doesn’t seem like it’s doing any good.”
I’ve seen a spiritual application. Duh! Who would guess?! (I see a spiritual application in everything. Did you ever go see Captain EO at Disneyland years ago? OK Michael Jackson was featured in it but it told the 3D story of him rescuing a woman caught in bondage along with his “rag tag crew.” I left the show feeling like I was like that woman who had been delivered from bondage by Jesus years earlier and so grateful. But I digress….)
Over these 8 weeks, I’ve thought, “OK, when I’m not in pain I’ll be able to sit at my desk and do my writing.” My all or nothing perfectionism kicked in. “Don’t do anything until it’s the way you’re used to doing it and perfect.”
But now it’s dragging on and on and I’m supposed to be working on sample chapters for a new book which I’m very excited about. Sitting at my desk is impossible. That upright position is agony for me.
I could use the laptop laying back in the recliner but … and then the excuses start. I won’t have my files available. I won’t be at the desk to reference books. Editing on the laptop is a pain in the … well, I already have enough pain there.
But I knew that’s what the Lord was saying, “Stretch into new behaviors even though it feels uncomfortable. It’s not really pain, it’s just discomfort. I’m stretching you.”
Dont’ know why but maybe there’s a reason for the future.
So here I am reclining in the recliner, ice packs under my toosh, and writing away. OK!!!!! It’s not that bad. I’ll write!