Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How to Win against Pain Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How to Win against Pain Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

A friend of mine was suffering greatly because of separators that had been installed between her teeth in preparation for braces. She described her condition in great detail to her mother. "And the worst thing about it is that I'm so tempted to remove these separators myself to end the pain," she concluded. "What?!" her mother replied, "and waste all that money?!"

With that shock therapy the pain in her teeth stopped instantly. Without the removal of the separators. From this, my friend realized something profound about pain: that a change in thought about a condition can actually change the condition.

Of course, simply thinking about wasting "all that money" isn't the way to healing! There's a need for more than mind over matter if we want to gain lasting freedom from pain. Fortunately, the way has already been prepared by the healing practice of Christ Jesus. It is clear from his healing works that his confidence in God's love and willingness to heal others never wavered. Jesus' followers learned from his example how to deal with pain and other troubles. The Apostle Paul, for example, shared in his many letters to churches what he learned. To the Romans, he wrote: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:22, 23). Such redemption happens in different ways for each of us, but a common element is that we gain a more spiritual view of ourselves, our lives, and our relation to God. Redemption goes far beyond pain management. It is literally able to free us from pain. Whether physical or mental, the struggle with pain suggests that we have been cut off from God's love and care. But pain will cease when we apprehend that we cannot be separated from God, because God, being omnipresent, cannot be absent. There is no space - small or large - that can somehow come between any of us and our divine Maker. We are spiritual ideas of the divine Mind, created specifically to fulfill His purpose. …

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