Purpose in Pain

So, yesterday I went to have my root canal finished. One detail I didn’t mention when I wrote about the discovery of the infection at the root of my tooth is that the dentist discovered the infection had damaged the nerves to the tooth which allowed him to perform the root canal without any pain, without the need of novocaine.

I never imagined a root canal performed without pain!

I was so fascinated that I did some research on pain and when I read all that takes place the moment something affects the tissues of our bodies I realized the purpose of pain.

Pain is intended to protect! 

I believe since we are triune beings, having a body, soul, (mind, will, and emotion) and spirit, what takes place in each of these affects the others.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25

If the physical body is subject to pain, what about the soul and spirit? Can they be harmed in any way? If so, how do you know? Do your soul and your spirit experience pain?

I’m sure you have experienced pain in your soul when others have abandoned you, broken their promises, or disappointed you in some way.

I’m sure you have experienced pain in your spirit when you have done something you know you shouldn’t have done, or when you disobeyed God’s commands and felt the guilt from your sin.

Physical pain is intended to get your attention that something is wrong so you will do something to keep from further harm.

And so, emotional and spiritual pain is also intended to get your attention so that you do something to keep from further harm.

We are quick to seek help for physical pain, but it seems we put up with emotional and spiritual pain for way too long!

My tooth is an example of what can happen when bad cells break down the nerves that are intended to send important messages to the brain. Having one tooth that had no nerves going to my brain was okay and I certainly didn’t mind not having novocaine, but to consider what would happen to me if all my nerves were severed and I had no sensation of pain at all.

Considering the consequences in the physical body is pretty obvious, but why then do we allow emotional pain and spiritual pain to go unattended to for so long?

When I read about pain one thing that I found interesting is the power of sight, of the visual. When people see the wound, when they have a visual of the break, infection, or disease their pain increases. Just as when I saw the shadow under my tooth on the ex-ray.

Perhaps this is why emotional and spiritual pain is often neglected, it remains hidden deep within the mind, heart, and spirit.

And perhaps, like my tooth, over time the lies and deception of the enemy damage sensitivity to the truth of God’s word and don’t allow you to realize there is anything wrong.

Pain is an indicator.

Pain isn’t to be ignored.

Pain has purpose.

We are quick to seek care for our physical bodies. We make the time to have check-ups, ex-rays, and tests to be sure we won’t experience any pain.

We take the time to eat the right foods and exercise so that our bodies stay healthy and strong.

But what about taking care of your soul (mind, will, and emotion)? What check-ups, ex-rays, and tests are you doing to see the condition of your mind, your will, and your emotions? Is there some pain that needs tending to? Are there lies that need to be exposed so that they can be confessed and replaced with God’s truth?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24

And how about your spirit? Are you taking time to be sure it is fed and exercised well to be healthy and strong? Or has there been some damage done to your sensitivity to God’s truth? Have other things blocked your time alone with God so that you don’t hear His voice and follow in His ways?

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12

You are a spiritual being living within physical body!

Your body, soul, and spirit are created to work together and when one of the three experiences pain, though it is meant for your harm, God intends for it to be the very thing that draws you into His presence so that He can bring truth, healing, and restoration.

” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30



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