Imagine the following scenarios. In the morning you turn on the shower and place a thermometer under the flow to make sure the temperature is correct. Then in the evening you examine each inch of your body to make sure you have no abrasions.
Now imagine a life without being able to appreciate a magnificent sunset or enjoy the kisses of a puppy.
While the above reads like something out of a novel, these concerns are real for those who suffer from congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP). CIP is a rare condition in which a person has never felt physical pain. In addition to feeling no pain, these people have a limited ability to experience emotion.
If you suffer from severe pain, CIP may sound like utopia. However, this condition can be deadly because those afflicted with it cannot feel anything from a sunburn to an allergic bee sting.
Pain in and of itself is not the problem! Pain is nothing more, and nothing less, than God’s warning system telling us something is wrong inside. God loves us and wants to deal with the cause of our pain, be it physical or emotional.
Using modern research techniques, including MRI scans, medical experts discovered there is a definite connection between physical and emotional pain. While physical pain travels through a different neural pathway than emotional pain, the two pathways are similar. When the brain receives a pain message it has similar reactions to both physical and emotional pain. One analogy is to think of the brain believing physical and emotional pain are fraternal twins.
In his classic, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “If we were never depressed, we should not be alive . . . A human being is capable of depression, otherwise there would be no capacity for exaltation.” (February 17 selection)
As humans we do not like to feel physical pain, or negative emotions. yet without the negative we cannot truly appreciate God’s countless blessings.
~ Guest contributor Crystal Linn