Over the years many people have come to see me to treat them for pain. I use massage as a primary approach. During the history taking portion of the intake I like to ask about their stress level. It is not uncommon for people to tell me that they have a low level of stress.
I am often amazed at this affirmation as they talk to me during our time together. They often relate the death or hospitalization of close relatives, their pet just got ran over, their mother in law is moving in, and the IRS is getting ready to audit them.
These people may seem to deal well with what is happening on the outside but their tight tissues often tell a different story. As a person lies on my treatment table I look for signs that tell me that they are in a state known as Freeze, Fight, or Flight. This is not a diagnosis – just an observation. There are some tell tale signs. They may be the foundation of another post. People seem to get stuck here.
As Christians, I believe the scripture teaches that we can often do better than we do. Jesus said “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." This is above all a call to salvation. We are to renounce our own ways of trying to live and cling to Christ alone. We learn of him in Scripture alone.
We never get past this need of Christ. We need him for our salvation. We also need him daily as we live this life. He still wants our burdens. We are told “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” There is certainly much more to say about this.
Christians get stressed out to. How we handle it is very important spiritually. It may well be very important in relation to our pain. If we take our pain to Christ we may well learn much from it. It may draw us closer to him. Drawing near to him may well calm our hearts. Meditating on what he has done for us can get our eyes off of our cares. Ministering to someone else can do this as well. There are many ways that we can handle the causes of our stress for the sake of Christ that may well have an effect on our pain as well. Be anxious for nothing…