I gave birth to three children, and had epidurals with all three (and as early in the labor process as the doctor would allow!). I was not one of those brave moms who wanted to give birth naturally. I am not a friend of pain and have no desire to experience it if not necessary. I felt absolutely nothing as I gave birth to my first two children. (Little did I know what my body was actually experiencing and how much time it would take to heal.) But my third child was a different story! My epidural had somewhat worn off by the time she decided to arrive, and when the doctor said I'd feel some pressure, I think he understated how much. To be sure, I didn't feel pain, but I definitely felt pressure. Thankfully, I was at least numb to the pain!
My friend and I were discussing pain and pressure. He commented that pressure, which most of us feel, might be pain if people weren't numb. He posed the question, How much would hearts hurt if they weren't numb?
Read it again, and personalize it:
How much would my heart hurt if it weren't numb?
I don't like pain. As with childbirth, I don't even want to consider pain. The mere thought of it sends me searching for something to stop it before it begins. I want whatever is going to most effectively dull the pain the quickest. Most people do...because pressure is much more manageable than pain. And there are a variety of ways to numb pain:
Unfortunately, what we don't realize is that when we numb the pain, we can't feel anything...even joy.
What if we quit numbing our hearts and actually allowed ourselves to feel pain instead of pressure? What if we actually allowed ourselves to feel the wounds of betrayal, abandonment, abuse, lost love, death?
It might hurt like crazy; we might scream; we might cry more tears than we thought possible; we might wish we were dead; but we'd survive. Then we would have the opportunity for healing...because unless we first feel pain, we don't even recognize the need for healing.
God wants to heal our every hurt: physical, emotional, spiritual. Whatever the source of our pain, He wants to heal it...for our good and His glory. And most importantly, He wants to heal our hearts. He wants us whole and free. He wants us to feel and experience life...joy!
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)