Monday, August 25, 2008

No Pain?

For those of you that know me in person or are on my email list you know that I have been having some back pain for the past ten days or so. It’s getting better but most of the time I still have a little nagging pain. The kind that doesn’t stop me from doing most of what I need to do but is mostly just annoying!

Today as I was commenting to my husband that I wished the pain would hurry up and go away I was reminded of an article I read a while back. It was about a little boy who was born with a rare disorder that causes him to feel NO pain at all. That caught my attention! At first I thought, “Wow, that would be great to never feel pain!” (That is because pain is number one on my list of Things to Avoid !) But then as I read more of the article and saw how no pain at all was actually a disadvantage, it made me start readjusting my attitude. The little boy in the article could get hurt....sometimes severely… but it never caused him any pain when it happened. Therefore his parents had to constantly monitor his movements to keep him from getting hurt. (This problem was caused by a rare genetic disorder.)

King David said in Psalm 139: 14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” God wonderfully made our bodies and He included pain receptors for our benefit. Without pain we would not know when we were injured or sick. Loss of pain is one of the symptoms of the dreaded disease of leprosy. A leper may lose toes or fingers because they injure themselves so much unknowingly. Without physical pain we could be mortally injured and still not seek medical help because we were totally unaware of our wounds.

Spiritual pain is much the same way. Sometimes we call this type of pain “conviction” or “conscience”. I remember when people used the expression “My conscience hurts me”. There’s an example of that in the Bible when the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Jesus a woman taken in adultery. He wrote on the ground and then said to them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”(John 8:7) Then we see that their conscience bothered them and they left, knowing that none of them were without sin. (“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one” John 8: 9)

This spiritual pain or “conscience” is a good thing. It keeps us on the right track and prevents us from becoming consumed by the disease of sin. If we constantly ignore these spiritual pains we can reach a point that our conscience becomes hardened or “seared” over. Sometimes when I am cooking, a recipe will tell me to “sear” the meat first. This just means to get it really hot, really fast, so that all the juices will stay in the meat. When our conscience is “seared over”, it can no longer be easily penetrated by the convictions of the Holy Spirit. It may feel better to us when we’re not convicted, but it is definitely not in the best interest of our spiritual lives. The scriptures warn us of the consequences of having a seared conscience where we feel no spiritual pain. (“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” I Timothy 4: 1-2)

If you can feel pain…both physically and spiritually… should be thankful to God! That means you are still healthy and your pain receptors, both physically (nerve endings) and spiritually (conscience) are in good working order!

I'm still looking forward to my back being pretty much pain free again someday but after giving it a lot of thought.....I never want to completely lose the ability to feel pain. Physical pain tells me that I need to change something that I am doing or else see the doctor. Spiritual pain also tells me I need to change something or else see ...the Doctor! God doesn't necessarily want us to remain in pain....He just gives us pain so we can know there is something wrong and we can work toward getting it fixed!

May God bless and comfort you if you are going through pain right now....whether physical, spiritual, or emotional. He's the Great Healer there's no doubt!



Beyond Me said...

THANK YOU! I needed these words. Pain is good. It just doesn't feel like it right now. Spiritual battles are waging and I'm just tired. But HEY I'm healthy and can feel the pain to which God will use for HIS glory!!! Amen Sister. Love ya!

Deborah said...

Amen! His grace is sufficient!

Cheryl G. said...

Thanks for another great post! It reminds me of how much I take for granted the blessing of good health - until something hurts or doesn't work right. I pray that you get relief from your back pain soon!


Ouida said...

Marilyn, this is so good. Have you read "Where is God When it Hurts?" It is by Phillip Yancey. He was requested to write it after 9/11. He explores all the avenues of pain and your article is so much like what he said. And I had never thought about pain in that light before.

Hope your back is much better soon and all the family is well.

Love and blessings, Ouida

Peggy said...

A great article! Do you ever share any of your writings with the girls who come to Sav-a-Life?
I'm glad that your back is getting better and hope that you are having a great week!


Leah said...

Awesome thoughts!! Your insight blesses me, dear friend.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thanks, Marilyn, for these thoughts. And while I don't relish any amount of pain, I am thankful that it draws me closer to God in full awareness that something needs to be done. Without it, life would probably never move to the depth of refining that God intends for each one of us.


Eve said...

I am sorry about your back problems. You have my prayers.

I had a freind who had that rare disorder. We were swimming one day and he jumped off on to some rocks. He didn't even know he was hurt until I saw all the blood in the water.

I like how you tied these two things together. A very informative devotion.

I am from MS too. I live on the Gulf Coast.

Joyful said...

This may sound funny, but to me the sign of a good sermon on Sunday is that I'm walking out feeling 'pain' - that the Spirit has convicted me about something and the pain is either because of something that I need to surrender to God and let Him do the work of healing - or - God is calling me to a deeper level and I'm experiencing "growing pains".

Recognizing that pain is purposeful,

Kay Martin said...

Great insight Yes, I always think of leprosy when I think of "no pain." Of course this disease attacks the nerves and that's why their hands and feet get in such terrible situations because they don't feel the heat of fire, the pain of running into a chair, etc.

I've known too many hat didn't hear God's warning of all kinds of sins early on. Now, they're fired, divorced, or dead. You're right their is gift in all things in our lives and God is on our side and looking out for us. Hallelujah.

I'm still praying for your back to heal, but in the meantime please be kind ot yourself.

De'on Miller said...

I hope you begin to feel better! You are one tough lady through and for our Lord, so take care of yourself for me and others who need and love you!

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I'm so sorry your back has been hurting you! I've never thought about the way you put these thoughts....but you are exactly right! Love it!

Mary said...

Thanks for the comments that you left on my post several days ago. I love what you shared about the man that wrote to the Chapman's
"Your daughter is a bigger part of your future than she ever was in your present." What a powerful statement!

This is a great post on "No Pain?"
It's difficult to think of pain as a "friend" but in a sense it is just that!

I trust that your back is better!
I have a problem with my back so I can certainly empathize.

I appreciate and am blessed by the things that you write.

Deborah said...

Hi Marilyn, I have something for you at my blog.