I suppose everyone develops aches and pains as they get older. My lower back is what troubles me. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to strengthen my back and manage the pain. My physical therapist told me that the small muscles along the spinal column needed to be stretched. He said there was a machine that would assist me with that. I knew I needed aggressive therapy, but even the name of that contraption sounded painful: Absolute Isometric Torque.
God has taught me a lot about pain through the years. Pain is not always physical but presents itself in many ways. There’s emotional pain when others accuse us wrongly, breach our trust, or reject us. There’s the soul ache of grief when we lose someone close to us, or when we watch someone we love fall into addiction or walk away from God. The pain of financial struggles, public humiliation, or personal failure are no less real.
How we handle our pain says a lot about what we really believe. Do we hide our pain? Do we search desperately for ways to “cope” — sometimes adding trouble to our troubles? Does pain strengthen us or make us bitter? Do we try to handle it all on our own? Do we turn to God or away from Him? Do we really believe God loves us, wants what’s best for us, and has it all under control?
Fortunately, God’s Word has much to say about pain. The Apostle Peter tells us, “For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.” (1 Peter 2:19)
During a particularly difficult and painful time in David’s life he wrote Psalm 38. There, David agonized, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.” (Psalm 38:4–8)
We can almost feel the agony of David’s heart! But the short portion I included from that Psalm only scratches the surface of David’s troubles.
The Psalmist confesses, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” And, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalm 119:67 & 71) I believe the secret of “pain management” is being in the presence of Jesus Christ and trusting Him. In your pain, draw near to God and cast your cares on Him.
Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:4
How do you typically handle pain? How would your loved ones answer that on your behalf?
When you’re in pain, press into the Lord for insight, comfort and a right response.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5