One of the odd things about my breast cancer, when I discovered it almost 7 years ago, was that I had no symptoms other than the tiny lump I had found by pressing with my hand one morning. I told my surgeon, puzzled, “But I don’t feel sick, I haven’t had any other problems.” He said, “You wouldn’t at this point. Cancer is simply new cell growth in a place where it’s not supposed to be. So unless it had grown very large you wouldn’t otherwise know it was there.” What a sneaky disease. I’m so thankful I found it when I did.
No one wants to live with ongoing pain, although some unfortunately do. It’s a bother. It hurts. It disrupts our usual way of life and keep us from doing the things we need to or want to do. I believe it would actually be worse to live without it. The good side of pain, if we can think of it that way, is that it alerts us when something is wrong and needs attention. Think if we never sensed pain – we could lay our hand on a hot stove burner and feel nothing, but it would still get blistered and burned.
If a doctor told you the reason for your pain, you wouldn’t want him/her to just treat the symptoms. You would want him/her to take care of the actual problem – the cause of the symptoms. Otherwise, the symptoms will just come back again and again.
John and I talked last night about some emotional fatigue that’s gradually mushroomed in the last year or so. Although walking with God, trying to stay in His Word and pray, in my attempt to always look on the bright side of things be hopeful and positive, I think at times I stuffed some hurts or frustrations or things I don’t understand. My heart needs a little attention and not just symptom attention. I need God to help me work it out so I can move on with the life He has planned for me, with my husband and family.
There’s no shame in fighting depression or seeking counsel or admitting there’s a problem, admitting that even with God’s presence in my life prolonged stress takes its toll. If you’re ever tempted to judge someone in your heart for these things, take a moment to try to put yourself in their shoes.
It would be a shame to ignore a signal from pain. I guess we should even thank God for it.