Chronic pain has become the most common reason that people see doctors. And, over the past decade, opioids have been the drug of choice. But this course of treatment has come with the undesired side effect of addiction, which has led to a growing health crisis of opioid overdose deaths.
No one wants a lifetime of chronic pain. And it’s unlikely that many intend to become an opioid addict, even when a strong painkiller seemed to be a good choice at the time.
My friend, Ray, found a solution to pain and addiction through a purely spiritual approach. He had enjoyed more than four decades of good health when he was rushed to the hospital in sudden need of emergency surgery. Taking medication had never been part of his health regimen; however, he felt that the intentions of the compassionate medical personnel were sincere when it was strongly suggested, upon his discharge, that he continue with the prescription painkillers to enable his complete recovery. This was the beginning of his addiction.
Millions in distress with chronic pain might wonder if there is no alternative to the cycle of pain, prescription drugs and potential addiction–no light at the end of a tunnel of suffering. They might feel like Jeremiah in the Bible when he asked, “Why does my pain never end? Why is my wound so deep? Why can’t I ever get well?” (Jer. 15:18 NIRV)
As God gave Jeremiah a promise of deliverance in response to his outcry, so I find the answer to those questions in Jesus’ healing works. He never accepted that pain or suffering was inevitable or incurable! He challenged the popular opinions of his day – and ours – regarding the health and well-being of every individual.
Today, do we feel that Jesus’ healing of every chronic and incurable illness was a miracle, a one-time inexplicable phenomenon and therefore no longer a present possibility in our age of advanced biomedical research? And yet he said we would do greater things than he did! He promised, “Anyone who believes in me will do the works I have been doing. In fact, they will do even greater things.” (John 14:12 NIRV)
How is that possible in this day and age?
Jesus appealed to a higher law than what were believed to be accepted matter-based health laws. He appealed to the law of God, which is good, loving and ever operative – in all ages.
If this sounds unbelievable, consider other laws that were at one time an accepted fact, such as the sun revolving around the earth. Galileo debunked this “law”, which was really only a belief; so opening up new possibilities and freedoms for man to explore. The earth was no longer flat and scary! And science continues to find new discoveries that open our eyes to possibilities that were always there, but unseen – most recently of gravitational waves, which Einstein predicted over a hundred years ago.
So which law actually governs our health? The higher law of God is what my friend Ray appealed to. Although at times he was tempted to just give up and live with the pain and pills, his prayers strengthened his understanding that God’s law of only good supported, protected and could heal him.
In his study of the Bible and the companion book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, he learned more about his identity as the child of a loving God (see Genesis 1:26,27). If God defined his identity, he came to realize, then he had to be spiritually as perfect as God.
Like Jesus, who saw the God-created man beneath the surface of what appeared to others as a person in pain or incurably diseased, Ray decided he did not have to believe what a majority of people believed about his condition. With courage and spiritual resolve, he appealed to the higher law of God for his health and well-being. This resolve grew stronger through Ray’s continued biblical study and prayer over the next few months, until the addiction fell away without any withdrawal effects. His strength and health returned.
The relentless cycle of pain and drug dependency can be broken. Ray’s experience is practical evidence of that.
As I am a community blogger with Metroland Media, you can read this article in various outlets, such as Simcoe News.