For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
2 Timothy 1:12
“Just relax through the pain.”
“Relax through the pain?” I thought to myself, “what an oxymoron. Who can relax through pain?”
I was suffering from something called a frozen shoulder. It happened one day when I was at recess with my students. Why I thought I had to do a cartwheel at the young age of 50 was beyond me. But I did it, and I stuck the landing.
However, I paid the price.
Now I could barely put my arm behind my back, or lift it above a 30-degree angle. I had been to the doctor several times, but I was making very little progress.
During the course of this inconvenient injury, I was attending a conference at a posh hotel in South Carolina. That’s when I met Michael—an angel who disguises himself as a massage therapist. I scheduled a massage.
Michael greeted me for my appointment and as protocol dictates, asked me the usual pre-massage questions. I saw a spark of interest ignite in his eyes when I told him I was there not to relax, but to seek healing for my injured arm. This was not just a typical bored pampered housewife appointment—I needed real help.
As he began to go deep into the injured arm, Michael said, “Just relax through the pain.” I turned over this comment over in my mind. Relax through the pain. How do these concepts mesh? Is it possible to hurt yet rest? How does a person relax in pain? Michael worked as I breathed in and out.
Mind wandering. Muscles releasing. Stress draining.
Suddenly, I realized to my astonishment, I was relaxing through the pain. Why? How? One word—trust. I trusted Michael. He knew when to stop. He knew how to probe the injury to a depth that brought healing not harm. I did not have to protect myself because he was protecting me. But he didn’t protect me out of my healing. I could relax and let him work because I trusted him.
Same thing with God.
He asks us to trust him through the pain; to give our wounds into His healing hands and let Him go deep. He knows when to stop, and when we’ve had enough. Left on our own, we would protect ourselves right out of our healing. But God knows how to heal, not harm. We can relax and let Him work because He is trustworthy. Healing wrapped in pain. A salve of wholeness and hurt. Buried pain exposed, cut away and removed.
Pain then healing. Hurt then wholeness.
We can relax through the pain of life because we are safe in His hands.
Trust in Him.
- What are you holding back? Is there a painful situation you need to turn over to God? Take a step of trust and tell Him as best as you know how at this moment, you are giving this hurt to Him to heal.
- Envision yourself completely healed. What would be different? What would you finally dare to do because you are completely healed?
- Take the first step. What is your first step? A move? A career change? The end of a relationship? Letting go of decades old guilt or shame? The first step can be scary but also very freeing and empowering!
- Seek the help you need. Counselor, pastor, doctor, mentor— whatever it takes, do it!
- Cover everything in prayer. Ask God to give you His best and open wide your arms to receive it.
Life is sweet! Trust and relax.
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