The Pain that Doesn’t Heal

Sometimes I think I have a high tolerance for pain. My neck and back have been smarting for over two years now, and I tolerate it just fine. However, when a kidney stone strikes (three times so far in my life…please, Lord, never again!) I fall to the floor and scream and growl and cry and, well, you get the picture.

But I have issues with my neck. The pain is constant.

I finally went to a physical therapist about it. Problem was, I had a trip in between appointments and had to cancel because of an interview. Here’s my question: Do PTs go to mean school? Mine sat me down and said, “Mary, do you want to get better?”

“Um, well, er,” I replied. It’s like going to the dentist when he asks you if you’ve faithfully flossed. “Well, not exactly.” You just can’t hide in situations like these.

“You will get worse and worse. This injury could become really bad. Now is the time to work on it before it becomes permanent.” Her tone was stern.

I squirmed.

But I told her the truth. We’re off on vacation for a week in August and I’m busy finishing a book, launching a bunch of stuff related to writing, getting the kids ready for school. I couldn’t do PT appointments on top of it all. “How about September?”

She said she’d see if the doctor would agree to it, and gave me exercises at home to do, which I’ve been naughty about. Pray I’d finally face the facts here and do my little stretching exercises. Truth be told, I’m tired of the pain.

This whole scenario reminds me of Jesus’ interchange with the crippled man at Bethesda pool. He had to wait for someone to come along to place him in the waters when the healing was good. But he never quite made it in time. Jesus looked at him and asked, “Do you want to get well?”

He stammered excuses. (Hmmm, this sounds a little like me!)

Even so, Jesus healed him. Completely. Even when we doubt, when we don’t even know if we want to get well, Jesus is kind and heals anyway. How about emotional pain? Are you afraid to get well? Afraid to do what it takes to get well again? Ask a friend to keep you accountable. And then run to Jesus, the One who heals. Bless Him with your trust.

What I’ve learned: the road to healing is not easy, and many, many folks shy around it. Many are afraid to look at the dark places of their lives, unable to face the truths. They’d rather live lame than put the leg in a splint and go through PT. Jesus will heal. It will take time, though, and it won’t be a cake walk.

Just like getting rid of my neck and shoulder pain . . .

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