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Pain—What's It Good For?

We do everything to avoid it.
When we have it, we do what it takes to remove it.
What’s its value?
Pain changes how we walk when we have a blister—so the blister doesn’t get bigger.
Pain makes us stop what we’re doing to address the immediate need.

What about chronic pain?
That dull throb that’s always there. We soon ignore it.
We function around it.
But it’s there.
We adjust to it. Compensate for it. Slow down with it.

I recently had a series of tests for numbness in both feet.
They tested my nerves. FINE.
They considered the swelling in my feet. The pediatrist recommended an MRI, since it was both feet.
The MRI showed nerves pinching and arthritis. (This was after a year's worth of various tests that showed nothing.)
The pain doctor recommended a procedure to kill the nerves causing the pain, but only after numbing them twice to verify the right nerves.
After the first numbing (that only lasted four hours), I realized how much pain had changed me.
I had energy and range of movement. I had life back again. 
But alas, that only lasted four hours.

I returned for the second numbing before the final zap to the nerves.
It was hard to return to the pain after four hours of freedom.
Then I returned a third time for the ZAP that would kill those particular nerves.
It would take several weeks for things to settle down, before we would know if it succeeded. 
In the meantime, I had another surgery. 
It would do nothing for the numbing of my feet and cramping that brought me to the doctor to start.
But if I worked, I wouldn’t be disabled by pain. If it worked…

But that is only physical pain.
What happens when people experience deeper pains–pains of the heart?
Loss of a spouse, child or best friend.
A child not listening to God. A spouse not caring.

Grief progresses through seven stages: disbelief or shock, denial, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, then acceptance. 
A person moves back and forth between stages as they progress through their grief. 
But if they never complete the stages, they do not heal.
Instead they become bitter, cynical, like a cancer eating away their soul.
Children wait to grieve for the adults to complete their grieving.

Grieving effects not only emotions, but can manifest itself in physical ailments: insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, memory loss, disorientation, nightmares or vivid dreams, to name a few.

With death, people often are surrounded with temporary support, but the person must pursue the grief on his own.
My mother-in-law remembers dates. She calls her friends a year later after their spouse or loved one died, to ask, "How are they doing?" What a ministry!

What about those hidden pains?
Child or sexual abuse— even though the person has grown, there are scars, fears and faulty coping mechanisms.
A spouse involved in pornography?
A broken marriage?
Is healing possible?

Those situations involve forgiveness.
You’ve been wronged.
It’s different from grief where there’s no wrong only loss.

There’s a difference between forgiveness and restoration. 
You must forgive someone from abuse or wrong, (and may have to repeat that forgiveness as Christ told Peter 70 x 7, when the offense is repeated, or when those memories come back and your mind must forgive again), but that is not the same as restoration.
I forgave my dad for his choices, but when he died, I grieved, not for what I had, but for the relationship I never had.
Those who never had a father-figure in their lives grieve that same loss.
Relationships are built on trust. 
In the case of a spouse. You may forgive, but the relationship is severed. 
Trust must be earned back. Proven. 
Not impossible. But requiring time and work on both sides.

But getting back to pain.
Without pain, we don't change.
Without pain, we think we can do it.
And we can.
But God wants us to acknowledge Him IN—ALL—THINGS.
Pain slows us down from OUR AGENDA, to ask Him what He wants.

Ever notice when someone is sick, what do they do?
Ask for prayer.
Are they praying before they are sick?
Not so much.
But by our weakness, we look to God.

God gave Paul a weakness that Paul asked God three times to remove. 
God did not.
Paul accepted that weakness, not resentfully, but with joy that he might know, through his own weakness, the power of God.

Pain causes us to slow down and remember Him.
Our pride keeps us from acknowledging our needs.
It's that pride thing.
That root of all evil, not only for Satan but for us, that keeps us from coming to God.
We can do it, after all.

When we look to Him and pray, we want something…a quick fix, an easy surgery—So we can get back to OUR Life.
How selfish we live our lives! Yet we think we please God by our busy-ness. and token service.

God wants us, not to look at what He can give us, but look at Him.
He’s missed our fellowship.
He wants us to talk with Him.
The God, Who made the universe, Who holds it together by His spoken Word, wants us to WANT to be in His presence.
That's why He made us.

Why are we so busy? With What?
What is more important than God?

When I slow down and sit at His feet, know what happens?
I acknowledge my weakness, I find His strength.
The pain may still be there, but I don’t feel it.
God makes His presence known.
And His peace surrounds me.
I experience His love.

Pain. 
It’s for us to know Him.


I know many of my audience are in chronic pain, share what has helped you.
 

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Faith
Find more articles about faith here:
November Dare Joy Challenge
Ungratefulness
Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
Looking for Jesus
What Do Your Prayers Reflect?
Life's Little Pleasures
Daniel—Greatly Loved by God
Take Every Thought
Jars of Clay
What Do Your Words Reveal about Your Heart?
How Do You Get Strong Faith?
Too Busy for God's Word?
How Do You Think Like Jesus?
Reflections from a Mom
Pain—What's It Good For?
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Rules
Seasons
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the
   Underclass

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
alt
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained
    

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day
    Proclamation

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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