“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Pain! Our backs or arms or legs or necks hurt. We can’t control our movement or bodies as we would like. No one likes physical pain. No one wants to hurt. In 40 years of being a physical therapist (PT)…I’ve worked with many people with pain. And as people who have gone through rehabilitation will tell you, when a physical therapist works with you they may lead you through a [shorter] process of more pain to help you get to less or no pain for a long time ….healing. The first step for rehabilitation is definition or recognition of the something that is not right: the pain. The second step is to seek help (see your PT!)
In my faith journey it has always been a practice to start my day praying for wisdom to recognize the traumas that have resulted in the pain and defects that brought that person into my office in search of healing and, of course, the skill and compassion to facilitate them on their recovery journey. Although it is rare that a formal spiritual history is part of the initial or subsequent assessment, research findings suggest that an individual’s religious practices and beliefs (faith) effect their physical and emotional well-being. There appears to be a clinically significant connection between spiritual and physical health. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that all pain or movement defects come from a spiritual injury. In my work, I have seen that suppressed angry thoughts, ignored betrayals are sources of stress that can fester and grow into chronic complaints: depression, anxiety, physical pain. Sometimes, I have the privilege of helping a patient to explore their spiritual health while helping them retrain their physical muscles.
To heal we must acknowledge the injury, ask for and accept the help, and put in the time and discipline of repeated and progressive exercises to rebuild our muscles – both anatomic and spiritual. It will be hard but the training brings its own peace. Our bodies are amazingly created by a God who can be seen and understood in everything that we do or experience, a God who helps us do hard things.