I have a new massage therapist. His name is Nigel, and basically, I pay him money to beat me up.
I have no idea why he uses the word “massage”.
I lie on a table fully dressed as this huge man chops at my body, and beats me with those little hammers that doctors use on your knees to check your reflexes.
I experience pain like I have never known. Childbirth seems mild, in comparison.
And yet I go back, week after week.
Because it is helping my body in dramatic ways I didn’t know were possible.
Nigel says that sometimes, in order to help people, he has to take them beyond what they can bear. If he stayed within their pain threshold, the body would never heal.
And so I am repeatedly taken over my pain threshold.
The other day as I was lying there with the tears and sweat flowing, trying my hardest not to scream as he chopped away, the thought that remained stuck in my mind was this:
I did this to myself.
All of the pain which I have to endure, is pain that I have inflicted on myself. I don’t say that in a “beat myself up out of guilt” kind of way, but rather a “let’s get real about what’s going on here, and take some responsibility” kind of a way.
Because here’s the deal: Whenever my muscles hurt really badly and I ask Nigel what causes that kind of pain, he says…
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I have struggled with worry and stress for years.
Worry is sin. And all sin has a consequence.
These days, I am being reminded in a very physical sense what the consequence is for my worry.
But it gets even more serious than that. I came across an article awhile back that offered the following statistic:
87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life.
I don’t share that to make you start worrying about what kinds of illnesses you are bringing upon yourself by worrying. I share it because it kind of amazes me that we’ve let it get to this point.
As Christians, we know that we’re not supposed to worry, or have negative, critical thoughts. But we continue to do it anyway, and it flows into every area of our lives.
I want to change. I’ve spent years trying many different things in order to improve my health, and yet what is becoming more clear to me all the time is that health is not the root of my problems, it’s worry.
Obviously, I do not have all the answers as to how to deal with that, because I’m still needing to get tortured by Nigel every other week.
But I have found some really fantastic resources to pass on to you so that we can muddle through this together. Be sure to check them out, and let me know what you think! (We’ll start a support group!) Or let me know if you have any other resources that would be great to share!
1) “Why Worry” – Sermon series by Andy Stanley (Part One, Part Two, and Part Three)
2) “Thought Life” – Article by Dr. Leaf
3) “A More Excellent Way: Be in Health” – Book by Henry Wright