Pain. Challenges. Frustration. They can drive you to take drastic measures. Or cripple you in total inaction.
Sounds strange, I know.
Let me explain: I’ve noticed over and over that I have a tendency to put off taking the most effective measures until my pain or my circumstances get past what I think I can handle on my own.
Here’s an example. During a fibromyalgia pain flare, a long Epsom salt and essential oils bath can reduce pain and relax my muscles and nervous system enough for me to feel better for at least a while. However. I put it off.
While this makes zero logical sense, I will sit on the couch thinking I will just tough it out, trying to just rest, distract myself, or simply revel in my misery for a while, when heading to our bathroom and starting the water should be my go-to.
I know it will make me feel better, I just resist because it’s all-in, I have to stop everything else to seek this out. It disrupts my day, but not more than the pain I’m already dealing with disrupts my day. It shows me again how I’m not in control and that I can’t will my pain away just be deciding I should feel better.
The illogical bath situation bears a strong correlation to my tendency to take problems/situations/burdens to God as a last resort rather than making that my go-to.
I attempt to work through my pain or problem in any number of other vastly less-effective ways. I talk to my husband about it. Or I call a friend. Or go on Pinterest to find a solution. Or distract myself with chocolate. Or I just ruminate on it and come up with a thousand mental solutions or justifications.
I know, I KNOW, that God will give me comfort and peace. He hears me and can solve things in ways I can’t even conceive of, and yet I put it off. Because if I go to God, it’s all-in. Because it means I have to stop everything else- all my other ineffective fixes- and do this one thing. Because it disrupts my whining. And my self-sufficiency and prideful desire to just “power through” without relying on Him.
I think that’s the core of both of these tendencies: Prideful self-sufficiency. Wanting to just handle it when I am not equipped. Resisting the best solution to my pain because I don’t like to be so reliant. But I AM SO RELIANT.
My bathtub isn’t in another county. Seriously. Steps away. And my God is “our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Just a breath away.
So I must retrain myself. I must resolve to set aside my pride, take that drastic measure, run that bath, call out to the Lord, and choose surrendered healing over self-sufficiency. Both kinds of pain- physical and emotional- aren’t things to muscle through alone; there are solutions! Solutions that point me back to submitting to my lack of power over the situation and looking outside myself for the peace and comfort I need.
I need to make Jesus my primary source, not my last resort.