Posted by: ritagone | October 16, 2019

Pain 101

My favorite writer, C.S. Lewis, sarcastically wrote: “If only this toothache would go away, I could write another chapter on the problem of pain.”  I think what he meant – or at least one of the things he might have meant, if I might be so bold as to interpret the great man – was that when you are in pain, it’s difficult to get past that pain to do anything else or to think about anything else.

I’ve been very fortunate in my 75 years.  I have never had a broken bone or a surgery that has taken away one of my organs.  I’ve been extremely healthy and relatively doctor free except for the minor ailments that have besieged me during my lifetime: migraine headaches that are now more or less under control due to new medications, thankfully.

 

So it’s been a learning experience, among other things, to have had a really sore right arm for the last four days, a soreness that came out of nowhere.  I didn’t bump it or hurt it lifting something; there’s no immediate cause for the pain I’m feeling.  The only thing I can think of is that I slept on it wrong and, at my tender age, that’s a federal offense pain-wise.  Heating pad treatment doesn’t help.  Advil seems to work.  I don’t want to go to the doctor yet because I know that that will most likely result in a series of specialists and other procedures and such, and I want to give it time to heal on its own.

I have a massage this morning, my regularly scheduled bi-weekly appointment and a luxury that I indulge in because I’ve lived to 75 years of age!!  She comes to my home and sets up in my bedroom, and for one hour I can feel the tensions and cramps of the last two weeks being massaged away.  So maybe that will help my arm, but it’s not really that kind of discomfort, so we’ll see.

Above all, I hate thinking about the pain, the discomfort, being aware of it, having to work around it.  I’m not used to it.  But I’m trying to be mature about it.  No, beyond that, I’m working hard to pray it through, to ask God to show me what He wants me to learn from it.  I’m studying the book of Ephesians and teaching it every Thursday morning, and if ever there were a book of the Bible filled with lessons about how to bear up in one’s pain, Paul is there to tell us how to

look your pain – physical, emotional, circumstantial – in the eye and then get on with living for Jesus.  I want to be like Paul.  I don’t want to be like Rita, who wants to whine and say, “Why me?  Why is this happening to me?  I don’t deserve this,” so many times a day that even I get sick of hearing it.

And after all, it’s only a sore arm.  It could be worse.

So if it might be, okay, Paul, show me how to let Jesus in, how to not let pain be the winner in this wrestling match.

And if it’s temporary, then this too shall pass, and I’ve got more important things to focus on.

And yet, as C.S. Lewis said, pain does pull us away from whatever it is we’re wanting to focus on.  And there’s the problem…of pain.

What are you learning or have you learned in the midst of whatever pain you have suffered or are suffering?  It’s a good question to ask.


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