I have to confess, I’m one of those people who puts off seeing a doctor until it’s really, really necessary. One of the times I was particularly stubborn is when I experienced discomfort on the side of my foot for well over a year. Initially it didn’t really prevent me from doing anything, so I began ignoring it and just kept going. The discomfort slowly turned to pain and I started limiting the movement of the foot and I learned ways of handling it. I avoided certain movements, sitting positions or types of exercise. But these had all crept up on me, as the decline was so gradual I’d barely even noticed what I was doing to myself.
Eventually the pain reached the point where it was affecting my sleep and ability to walk comfortably, and I knew something had to be done. I was immediately referred to a physiotherapist, and began a long and arduous six months of weekly visits to rebuild the muscle strength and movement. I’d torn a ligament but had spent many months of ignoring it. I finished my physiotherapy on top of the world ... pain-free, with renewed strength and balance that was better than it had been before. I was delighted!
Until last week ... when I slipped and fell and I felt the old familiar pain on the side of my foot. As my mind flashed back to the arduous months of physiotherapy and the pushing through endless discomfort, a mild sense of panic rose up. I immediately went to a friend and work colleague who is a trained physiotherapist and I told her what happened. She very lovingly and calmly told me what to do and I knew this time I would listen and do what is necessary to make it right straight away.
I have to confess I couldn’t think through this episode in my life without realising I can be extremely stubborn about taking my inner pain to God. I think I can manage. I say “It isn’t that important. It isn’t really affecting me. It will eventually just go away”. Except none of those things are true and I find myself in a gradual decline where life becomes more about protecting the pain than living life to its fullest.
In time God, in His mercy, has brought me healing through a similar process to that of the physiotherapy: daily changes and sometimes painful exercises of forgiveness and repentance.
Bad things still happen to us. We experience times when we’re hurt and the old familiar pain is felt. It’s so easy to fear that the healing journey will be hard again. But the reality is, when we deal with the issues immediately, there’s no time for it to progressively cause us to deteriorate or affect our lives. We need to let the fear of the same thing happening motivate us to handle life’s hurts and pains in a different and quicker way.
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the amazing work of healing You’ve done in my life. I thank You for all the times You’ve brought me through pain into freedom. Help me to never allow pain to affect my life the way it has in the past, and to deal with issues quicker, so I can continue my life in You. Amen.
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