A PROPER USE FOR PAIN
Dis-ease is the result of pain that is crying out in some way to let us know that there is sickness somewhere within us . Dis-ease and pain are symptoms, not the actual disease. They are the signals that we have something within that needs to be healed. It is vital to us that we listen to them, and seek their origin that it might be healed or removed from our lives.
Body - A physical pain caused by an external abrasion or some internal disease demands that we seek the cause and treat the source of the dis-ease to bring ease to the affected area, and heal the source of pain.
Soul - Anger, Depression, Anxiety, Fear, Hate, or anything else contrary to peace is psychic pain. It demands our attention, not simply to understand or rationalize, but to treat the dis-ease, and bring ease to the affected area, and heal the source of pain.
Spirit - Insecurity nags at us telling us all is not well. Loneliness or isolation, meaninglessness or purposelessness brings dis-ease. They call us to give our attention rather than seeking some distraction to escape into vicarious living. They demand that we seek the Source of all we are missing and find wholeness in our spirits.
Mind - When our perceptions conflict with our significant others, and we are at a loss to know what to think, or how they think, we must seek the cause and some remedy for the dis-ease that we find mentally. We try to figure it out or work it out, but what are we to do when our mind does not comprehend the full scope of the problem, and we end in frustration until we learn how to think in an orderly way.
Relationships to others - The proving ground for all of the above is found in the peace or the pain that marks our relationships to others. When the pain arises, it demands that we seek the source that it might be healed rather than simply understood.
WE MUST TREAT MORE THAN SYMPTOMS
Treatments vary for each source of dis-ease, but since our components are inseparable, multiple treatments are often desirable so we might use all the resources that we have at hand to treat all of the aspects of the disease that we find in our lives. Treatments may be varied and mixed.
Physical dis-ease that is marked by acute cardiovascular pain could require medical treatment - including a diet and exercise regimen, some counsel to seek out the source of the stress that the mind might be open to understand the problem, spiritual treatment to alleviate the stress and restore the system by God's creative love, by healing of any memories from which the stress may have arisen, by casting out any spirits that may cause stress, and by seeking God's love and forgiveness to heal the relationship to Him as well as to others whom we encounter in our lives.
The Christian Gospel indicates that God is concerned for our wholeness. That is what Salvation means. He knows our needs before we ask, and He has sent His Son into the world to bring us His healing grace, first for ourselves, and then for the world to which He sends us. We are to learn what He makes available to us in Christ Jesus.
Learning is not simply the assimilation of facts from a text or a professor. It is the appropriation of the facts, and their testing in our lives to determine their meaning for us. The data we derive from our experience is a record of our encounter with God's faithfulness. We cannot know what that is until we try what He has given us as grace. G. K. Chesterton put it well. "The Christian Faith has never been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."
I can use my pain only as I am willing to see it for what it is, the symptom of something else. I do not simply swallow an aspirin for the relief from pain when I have a headache. I seek the cause of the headache, and I pray for the healing of the cause. If I still need an aspirin, I take one, but there are many times when that becomes unnecessary.
When I have some disease that needs medical help, I ask God what lies beneath it. What are the forces at work in my system to cause this disease and its pain? The concepts of psychosomatic (mind/body) causes of illness have been known to the medical profession for a long time. Healing must be seen as something more than the elimination of pain. It is an opportunity to discover and eliminate the cause of the pain as well.
What is my dis-ease? My pain? Do I recognize any?
How do I deal with my dis-ease? Do I use more than one treatment?
What are my alternatives that I have not tried?
Am I willing to try other alternatives?
What do I have that brings integrity into my life? Is there a single Source within my life?
What are the sources of stress in my life? Am I aware of them?
What is the role of medicine in my dis-ease? What are its limitations?
What is the role of counsel in my dis-ease? What are its limitations?
What is the role of prayer in my dis-ease? What are its limitations?
KINDS OF PRAYER I MIGHT TRY
Confession is like a visit to a physician as we take our symptoms that have issued in guilt to be treated, and allow Him to work on the inner diseases that have been at the root of the actions. It is a healing of the symptoms and a start on the healing of the disease. (See tract on Confession)
Intercession or Soaking Prayer is received from other people who are willing to lift me into the presence of God on their love for Him and for me. Intercession best seen in the four who brought the paralytic to Jesus on a stretcher, that He might heal the disease. Soaking Prayer is intercession that holds the person in God's presence for a length of time. (See tract on Intercession an Soaking Prayer)
Healing of Memories is a prayer which invites Jesus to go back in time to the source of some trauma that has left a person reacting to the past rather than being free to respond to God in the present. It is a means of opening the way for Jesus to redeem the time, and reveal Himself to me in some past event that He might change my perception of that time, and be set free from it. (See tract on Healing of Memories)
Exorcism or Deliverance is the act of casting out spirits that might be working within me. Anger, fear, depression or some other spirit in humans can cause undue stress. See tract on Spiritual Warfare)
In all cases where we are seeking wholeness, we must seek the infilling of Holy Spirit that we might become the garden of God wherein the Fruit of the Spirit are to be grown.
Are we willing to try these alternatives of prayer that we might seek freedom from the pain that points to the disease we seek to heal?
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