Dealing with pain. How do we handle it? How do we process it or sometimes, come to terms with it? There are lots of different techniques and thoughts around the subject, probably as many as there are different types of pain itself.
‘And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”‘ — Mark 14:32-34
Dealing With Pain | What Hurts?
Do you have a physical illness that’s easily identified? A psychiatrist or psychologist can help you out. God has gifted certain people with skills to help us with the things that we can easily categorize. What about the things that you can’t? The pain that comes from a place you can’t quite put your finger on but that you know is there, or worse comes out in a manner you weren’t expecting.
Not sure about you, but I’ve felt that generally, the culture for men has been to lock things away that we don’t understand. Don’t talk about it until you can recreate it under controlled circumstances so you can at least feel you can identify it and bring some knowledge around it. The sad fact is that if this were possible, then we would have done it already, over countless issues that crop up in our daily lives.
Psalms Teach Us About Dealing With Pain
Thankfully we have a toolkit, there’s a whole book in the Bible related to these issues, and it’s the Psalms. The guys who wrote these passages didn’t just tuck the writings away not to be seen by anyone except themselves and God. They made them public. These writings are songs sung in the temple; they are poems read in community. Would you like an expose of all your primal pain? No, me neither, but that is what the psalmists did. They spoke out, not when it was convenient but when it hurt the most.
Jesus Teaches Us As Well
What does this mean for us? Those emotions are best held communally or in fellowship. Some people are creative with words and can write poems, prose, or songs. Others are artistic and can paint or draw what they are feeling. The majority of us might not feel this is an avenue that is open to us. What we can do though is talk, confide, and trust in others. You don’t have to go through things alone. Jesus didn’t. Jesus wept in front of others, (John 11:33-37), and was brave enough to disclose the anguish in His heart (Mark 14:32-35). I don’t believe that Jesus did either of these things to appear righteous, but because he was true to his emotions, choosing to lean on the community around Him.
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