Last week I had strep throat. At first, I thought the ache in my body and the soreness in my throat was due to a lack of sleep, but after a day of literally fighting to stand up and carry on conversations, knew something more was up. Feverish and miserable, I went to bed, only to toss and turn hour after hour in frustration and despair.
Upon arriving at the doctor’s office, the nurse asked if I’d taken anything yet. “No…” was my reply, as I’d wanted to have an accurate reading of my temperature, etc. before medicating. “Your fever is well over 100. Would you like some Tylenol?” “Uh, yes. Definitely.”
Within an hour, the weariness and ache in my limbs began to subside. My body no longer vacillated between hot and cold, cold and hot. I suddenly felt good, healthy even. It was miraculous.
In the glory of my improved state, it was easy to forget that I was actually really sick. Contagious, even. I hadn’t even picked up my prescription from the pharmacy, yet seemingly my need for antibiotics was gone.
How often do we settle for relief from the symptoms, rather than seeking a full recovery from what truly ails us?
In the hours that followed I began to experience gaps in my medicated wellness, generally beginning with attempting to swallow and realizing how hard or uncomfortable it was. A glance at the clock would tell me I was just minutes away from being able to take another round of Tylenol, and I counted them down, one by one.
It’s a mistake to assume that a momentary escape from the pain is the same as becoming well.
Pain is an indicator that all is not well, whether physically or emotionally, but we have a choice in how we manage it. We can numb it, self-medicating with Tylenol, never-ending lists of tasks to accomplish, romance novels, and even “helping” other people. Or, we can admit that those things don’t actually address the underlying issue. We can walk out of the office taking the Tylenol, content to no longer feel the fever that yet rages, or we can wait upon our Healer to come, perform a full examination of our hearts, and offer a true cure for the pain.