“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do” (Hebrews 4:15 NLT).
As I was enjoying the savory, Southern goodness of a smothered turkey wing for lunch, I bit the inside of my cheek. Ouch! For the rest of the day, I was careful not to chew food or gum using the injured side of my mouth. The ongoing discomfort was a stark reminder of the intense pain that would follow if I were to bite the same spot again.
After a couple of days, the soreness went away. Assuming it was healed, I began chewing gum as I normally would, but I ended up biting the same spot again because—surprise!—it was still a little swollen. It hurt worse now than it did the first time I bit it, and I realized that not feeling the pain on the inside of my cheek didn’t mean that the area had healed. In fact, the numbness had just made it easier for my routine chewing to cause reinjury.
The physical, mental, and emotional injuries we experience in life are just like that. We endure something for so long or we are hurt so many times that we become numb to the pain. We’re functional, so we think we’re fine—but in reality, we still need to heal.
Pain tells us that something is wrong and that corrective action should be taken. Numbness or indifference can indicate that the hurt we experienced in the past is more serious than we thought. The pain still remains, and unresolved pain can result in passivity, poor judgment, and further injury. But sometimes it’s easier to pretend that we’re fine, to deny those feelings, and to “suck it up”—all to our detriment.
There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging our feelings. God has feelings too, and when we see His emotions in scripture, they are often in direct response to ours: He feels love (Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16); hate (Psalm 5:5, 11:5; Proverbs 6:16); joy (Zephaniah 3:17); sorrow (Psalm 78:40; John 11:35); pain (Psalm 22:14–18); compassion (Psalm 135:14), and more.
We don’t need to be afraid to admit that we have feelings, especially the painful ones. Pain is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether stemming from physical injury, emotional trauma, or psychological struggles, pain can be overwhelming and debilitating. A wound that hasn’t been tended to or given a chance to heal is easily reopened.
When we acknowledge our pain, accept its presence, and actively engage in the healing process, we can begin the transformative journey toward healing and wholeness. It’s important to allow ourselves time to heal. We shouldn’t rush to replace what’s lost or try to reshape our lives to disguise the pain. Just be still (Psalm 46:10).
Healing takes time, patience, and self-compassion, but we will not be in pain forever. Psalm 30:5 says, “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (NLT). God wants to heal every hurt we have, so embrace both the pain and the healing process.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being the God that heals me. Help me to recognize the unhealed areas in my heart. I ask You, Lord, to heal them all. I give my pain to You and embrace Your healing. Let me know when to move forward in the injured areas of my life. I trust Your wisdom. Amen.
NAYA POWELL is a freelance writer and editor, currently working as a marketing and graphics specialist. She is a Christian minister and enjoys supporting outreach ministries including Habitat for Humanity and Tried by Fire Ministries, a ministry helping female inmates reenter society and live healthy, productive lives.