Pain ~ A Good Thing?

Feeling any pain? Maybe you should be...

Feeling any pain? Maybe you should be…

Pain. “Okay, I am going to touch each tooth with a cotton swab that is very cold, I want you to tell me if you feel anything,” the endodontist said.

As he put a little pressure on the suspect tooth, I smugly shook my head. Nope! Didn’t feel a thing!

“Now,” he said, “I am going to take this tongue depressor and I want you to grind on it really hard on this tooth.”

I ground really hard.

“Really hard,” he encouraged. I complied. Nope! I didn’t feel anything. Not a twinge of pain.I knew it! I knew it was just a little infection! I won’t need a root canal, I didn’t feel any pain at all! I thought to myself.

“Well,” the endodontist said with a somber tone in his voice, “I have bad news. You are going to need a root canal.”

What? I was too stunned to say the words out loud. What was he talking about? Didn’t I say I didn’t feel any pain on that tooth?!

As though reading my mind, he said, “The fact that you don’t feel any pain on that tooth indicates that the nerve is dead. And…”

Wait, no way! There was more?

“I am concerned about the tooth next to it. You might need a root canal in that tooth as well.”

It was too much to process. Completely contradictory to anything I had expected. If there is a problem, shouldn’t I feel pain in the tooth? Sure, I had discomfort in my gums ~ I knew something was going on. But it was an irritant more than anything. I could overlook it, live with it. It wasn’t something so uncomfortable that it drove me to the endodontist. No, it was my dentist at a routine cleaning that told me I needed to go. Despite a lack of real pain, apparently I had an infection.

My incident with the endodontist got me thinking about pain, and life, and our spiritual journey. You have a lot of time to ponder when you are laying on a chair with your mouth wide open! I wondered ~ is seeking a pain-free, comfortable life always the best thing for us? Or is our pain-free, comfortable life masking an infected soul and spirit?

Sometimes I think the enemy of our soul wants to keep us in a comfortable and pain-free place. After all, without pain, what motivation is there to change, to move outside our comfort zone? Without pain, how will ever empathize with those who so desperately need the comfort we could supply? Without pain, when would we cry out to our Lord and Savior for rescue and redemption?

I know that in my own life I have experienced the most incredible spiritual growth during the most grueling seasons of emotional pain. Before, I didn’t know the depths of my infection. Sure, I had some moments of discomfort, minor irritations, but I could overlook them, handle them on my own. The pain wasn’t that bad but it masked a serious infection. Thankfully, God created pain. He created pain as a way of letting us know something is wrong. We need to make a change. We need help. And when it comes to the state of our souls, we need more than any doctor can provide or prescribe. We need a Savior.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5
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3 Responses to Pain ~ A Good Thing?

  1. Sharon says:

    Lynne, you will not be surprised to know how much we were *on the same page* today – if you get a chance, go read my post. It was also about pain.

    Yes, the enemy tempts us into thinking that the pain-free place is a good place. More often than not, it’s just a comfortable and complacent place. Thank goodness (literally) we have a Savior who cares more about our character than our comfort. And sometimes pain is the best alarm alert system we have.

    Pain drives us to our knees in front of the Cross.

    GOD BLESS!

    • For me, God is the antidote to pain. Only when I am able, (through the power of the Holy Spirit, because believe me, my fear nature doesn’t always get me there!) to look at this life from a heavenly perspective am I also able to find good in pain and brokenness and to see how really GOOD God is that He doesn’t leave us to suffer in our pain forever. Though, He would have every right to since the brokenness, pain and evil in this world exists because of what we have done. No, instead He finds ways to bring good out of pain and has prepared a place for us in paradise, free from human pain. It’s a journey, friend, from here to there, and a tough one at that! I am thankful to be traveling alongside you! xoxoxoxo

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