“When we ignore our pain, we numb ourselves to its presence and accept it into our lives.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 15, 2022
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. Mark 2:1-4, ESV
I recently found myself in a high-intensity interval training workout, commonly known as a HIIT. As someone who defaults to rocking chairs, multiple cups of coffee, and deep conversations, “high-intensity” is anything but a desired pace for me! However, I love my family and want to stick around for as long as I can, so several times a week I subject myself to these merciless experiences.
Recently, the trainer for the course said something that stood out to me (as I gasped for air and tried to steady my rapidly beating heart). “Stay present to your discomfort.” He was pressing us to our bodily limits, and in such moments all we want to do is make the pain stop, or if it must continue, do anything we can to distract ourselves and escape from the pain we’re inflicting upon ourselves. After all, why do you think every gym in the country is filled with more TV screens than you can count?
However, the training insight in that moment was profound. Do not do the one thing your body most wants to do! No, stay present. Observe the pain points. Master your body and make it subject to your will in this moment.
Time and time again, I am struck by the close relationship between our physical bodies and spiritual lives. As such, this insight is by no means limited to a workout with a trainer. No, this wisdom is applicable in virtually all areas of life. Stay present to your pain.
When we ignore our pain, we numb ourselves to its presence and accept it into our lives. This is especially true with the pain of relational brokenness or financial anxieties. These pains so often live under the surface and lurk in the corners of our hearts. We think a relational wound from a friend or a moment of broken trust from our past has little to no impact on our present, and so we push it further and further into the recesses of our minds. We accept worldly concerns about unemployment, underemployment, recessions, and market crashes as normative and unavoidable, and therefore ignore the weight of them that constantly presses upon our chests.
These pains and countless others like them are the very moments to which we must be present. We name them and bring them out into the light. We are present to them, not to increase our pain, but to invite the Lord to be near to us in our pain. In this way, our presence is itself an act of faith, a ripping open of the roof in order to lower ourselves down to the one who can make us whole and set us free.
Father, help me to be present to the pain in my life, believing you will meet me in that place and bring your healing touch to my soul and body, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What pain have you avoided and ignored that the Lord is instead asking you to courageously face in faith?
Aaron Keyes: Sovereign Over Us
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