Hi everyone. Rob here.
You may have noticed that when it comes to the spiritual life, mind, body and heart are all connected. Unhealthy thinking can leave our hearts deflated and our bodies lacking energy. Our hearts can suffer when things happen to us that our minds can’t comprehend. The unnamed trauma or pain can lead to it being stored in our minds and bodies emerging in anger, stress and illness. At the moment in my life the pain is definitely originating in the body. I’ve been training for a fundraising walk and clearly I have overdone it! Ligament damage in my hip is disrupting sleep patterns, leaving me irritable in my mind and my heart feeling flat.
But if the connection works negatively, then it also works positively. Healthy thinking can set the heart free and even release stress in the body. A heart that’s healed and whole sets the mind free and, again, the body tends to follow. This is because healthy hearts, minds and bodies honour each other. A healthy body, good sleep and freedom from pain refreshes mind and heart.
What’s interesting is that the hurting parts scream for attention. You’ve heard the phrase, “a cry for help.”, when someone has acted in a self-destructive way. Rage, addiction, anxiety, despair, self-indulgence, pornography and so much more are behaviours and mindsets that come from hurting minds and hearts. People may say, ‘why don’t you just call it sin?’ Sin is much more than our behaviour. Sin is doing it our own way and then trying to hide from God. In other words, God as our loving parent asks us to bring our pain to him and not to take it to the world. When we bring our pain to God we discover Jesus on a cross and we realise that God is love and God is the safest place for pained hearts and minds. He knows our pain, he heals our pain and he redeems our pain.
But my hip still hurts. I’m still not sleeping well. My body is screaming at me, if you like. So, I need to take care of it. Just like I take internal pain to Jesus, I also take bodily pain to Jesus. He may heal it, he may not, but I give him authority over it. I insist that Jesus’ voice is heard over my bodily pain. My body wants to affect my mind and my heart, but it all belongs to Jesus and I want his messages heard. I don’t ignore my body’s pain, I bring it into submission to the one who deals with pain. This sets my heart and mind free also. They no longer have to be dictated to by my body’s pain. My heart can remember that it’s new and good in Christ and my mind can pursue ‘the mind of Christ.’
We are a whole and interconnected person. We don’t do isolation and our minds, hearts and bodies don’t do isolation either. This is why when we surrender we surrender the whole person. When we worship we worship with the whole person. The whole person belongs to Jesus who used the suffering of his body to set us all free. Even in his pain he acted on our behalf. As a surrendered person he was able to step into the pain, knowing that there was life waiting on the other side. Pain is temporary. Life is eternal.
Grace and peace everyone.