The Problem with Pain
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. (Psalm 147:3, AMP)
You might have done this at times also: during a time of cleaning up or straightening an area, kept returning to an item. Picking it up, trying to determine where you’ll put it; holding it in your hand, perhaps moving it to another area, only to come back to it again and do that same thing all over. Moving it from one spot or location to another. I’ve read that when we do this it means we don’t have a designated place for that item. To eliminate that dilemma, we need to find or create a space for it.
Emotional pain is a lot like that. When we don’t have a place for our pain, we keep coming back to it, picking it up, examining it, putting it down, only to return to it after some time. We know we don’t want it where it is, but we don’t know what to do with it. We may not even recognize our habit of playing musical chairs with our pain. Maybe subconsciously we’d like to do something with it; but what? It junks up the heart and mind, sticks out like a sore thumb, makes others uncomfortable and us miserable.
Since the beginning of time, after sin entered the life-equation, we’ve had a problem with pain and what to do with it. Pain seems out of place in a believer’s life yet, it is now naturally part of our journey. We’re not sure what to do with it, so we try ignoring it, moving it around, denying it, but still it seems to find its way back to where it started. Maybe our pain needs to be like the item we keep moving from place to place. Maybe we would do better to find a place for our pain.
The problem with pain is that unaddressed, it will not go away on its own, it will not get better or heal all by itself, it will interfere with life, interrupt life, disrupt life, wreak havoc in our life and relationships, make us sick, and steal our mental health, and eventually separate us from our loving God who hurts when He sees us hurting so much in our vicious cycles.
As He approached Jerusalem Jesus stood overlooking the city and wept. He was grieved because the people had rejected him. He was their peace and healing and they refused to let him help with their pain. He knew his time with them was wrapping up and he cried. He had what they needed but they wouldn’t receive him that way. (Luke 19:41-42)
I love Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11. It’s fitting for so many areas of life. Jesus invites us to trade whatever is burdening us for what He has to give. God has an idea of what He’d like to do with our pain: receive it so we are no longer burdened or sorrowed with it, repurpose it, weave it into our life’s story until its hardly recognizable, heal it. Since each one of these involves the activity of God, we have to determine to take Jesus up on his invitation.
If we’re moving our pain around, can’t decide where to put it, tired of returning to it, Jesus is the perfect place to lay it.
Praying Psalm 147:3
Christ, You are truly the perfect place to lay our pain. May we practice and visualize every day giving you what has not been resolved and healed. Amen
Determine to let Jesus have your pain so you can make room for other things, like joy or peace.