My temporomandibular joint has a lot of issues. [A.K.A. I have TMD or what most people call TMJ, problems with my jaw and the surrounding facial muscles.] For many years now, it’s caused me various types of pain and discomfort. It ebbs and flows in intensity, but it is always there.
I’m used to it, but I’d rather not be… ya know?
So, I have an awesome husband who encouraged me to go to an awesome friend who is a very experienced and skilled massage therapist. So I did. Her name is Jill. She’s our sister (you know, in Christ). She also has the same TMD problems. She knows the pain and it’s repercussions first hand. She also knows how helpful certain massage techniques can be and she knows how to use those techniques. I now go see her now every 2 or 3 weeks for a massage. I know that sounds all luxurious and relaxing, and there is a bit of that involved sometimes… but, mostly, I lay there and she inflicts intense pain on my face. But it helps.
Recently, she tried the most intense treatment she’s done on me so far. I laid on her massage table thinking…
If Jill was some random stranger who I came to for help, I’d peace out of here real quick saying…
“Sorry but this is not helping. This is hurting! Thanks, but no thanks!”
But because I know that Jill understands my pain and has been in this position herself,
and because I know that she cares about me and is doing this to help me,
and because I know that she does actually know what she’s doing…
I can rest in this pain, knowing it’s a good and helpful pain that will make it better later.
Does that sound familiar? It reminds me of the Lord. He is good and He is the Giver of Good Gifts. He knows our pain. He’s felt it Himself. He doesn’t enjoy seeing us in pain but there are times that, because of His desire to heal and free us, He walks us through some painful things, knowing they are essential in taking us to the better/BEST He desires for us.
The pain I feel during massages is “good pain.” I easily recognize that now. It is not always as easy to recognize growing pains in walking with the Lord, or living in the Body, as “good pain” but it is getting
easier more natural to see it as such as I learn to recognize the Lord.