I’ve come to realize that pain is typical. I don’t believe anyone can live through a twenty-four-hour period of time without at least stubbing a toe in the dark or feeling the snap of a static shock. This is an easy kind of pain. It hurts for a few moments and then life simply continues. No sweat. I deal with this every single day. And then I experience something deeper. Emotional pain is deeper and more severe than any physical pain. I am realizing that this kind of pain can be crippling and dangerous if ignored.
I’ve also realized that no amount of relatable country music or Hershey’s chocolate bars will make it start to feel even remotely better…but that’s beside the point.
So… it hurts. A lot. Regardless of what situation got me here… here feels miserable. Here is the place I’m trying to run away from with every ounce of strength and fortitude inside of me. But am I really justified in doing so? Is it right to want to run from the hurt and the situations I need out of? People keep telling me to give it time and to allow it to heal. But any and all medical knowledge I have tells me that when a large, gaping wound is left unattended, the chance of a total bleedout, infection, and death is high. But, again, this is an example of a physical problem. Emotional pain is different. It can be filled with stress, second-guessing, confusion, and anxiety. In truth, it’s often hard to know how to properly deal with this kind of reaction to pain. Right now… it feels impossible.
I took some time to study the Word of God on the topic of pain. I ended up soaring through Psalms and skipping around in the latter half of the New Testament. I wanted to get answers about what to do. Where do I go from here? What do I have to do to feel better? Then a story from the Old Testament leapt into the fray, casting aside my silly hopes for a simple heavenly bandaid.
Exodus 14: 13-14And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Moses voiced an encouraging command during a time of stress and anxiety before the crossing of the Red Sea. As the Egyptians approached, fear and second-guessing attacked the minds of the children of Israel. The Lord used Moses to reassure the Israelites that the problem they faced would never be faced again. All that was required of the Israelites was silence. Maybe that’s all that is required of me. Complete silence. Let God speak. Don’t fuss or worry about the little details of a seemingly failed situation in life that dropped me to my knees. I have only to be silent.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.