In my last blog post, I shared how changing the direction in which I was looking relieved the pain I had in my neck. Sometimes, finding relief for our issues is that simple. Looking toward God instead of our issues can provide peace, joy, and comfort that makes our circumstances more tolerable.

Other times, however, the solution may not come suddenly. Even after refocusing our thoughts on God through corporate or personal worship, Bible Study, prayer, or fellowship with other believers, the pain may remain. The sting of the situation may still linger even after we medicate it with exposure to God. If that happens, does that mean we don’t have a relationship with Him? If a direct encounter with God doesn’t quickly end our pain, does that suggest His power is ineffective in our lives?

Perhaps these questions express your heartfelt sentiments. Let me reassure you. Lingering pain doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a relationship with God, and it certainly isn’t an indicator that His power is ineffective. It could just mean that you need to dig deeper. While you may have sought God for the surface level issue, perhaps there is something deeper that He needs to address.

I thought about my neck pain again. What would I have done if repositioning my head didn’t relieve the pain? More than likely, I would have gone to the doctor. A doctor would have been able to conduct an X-ray to get to the root of the problem. In other words, a doctor’s visit could help me dig deeper.

My friend, this is what I’m encouraging you to do. When quick remedies fail, it’s time to dig deeper, just like I proposed in the hypothetical situation with my neck. It’s what Jesus encouraged a man to do in Mark 9:14 – 27.

Walk a mile in this man’s shoes. He had dealt with pain for years. His son kept being harmed by violent convulsions prompted by an evil spirit. When he heard about the power of God, he brought his son to some of Jesus’ disciples for relief. Although he looked up from the circumstance to see that God could intervene, the change he desired didn’t happen instantly. It didn’t happen after a while. It just didn’t happen.

While the man was busy blaming these disciples for the prolonging of his problem, Jesus intervened. Notice the conversation he had with the man:

“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:21 – 24, NLT

Herein lies the root: unbelief. By challenging the man to dig deeper, Jesus helped expose the man’s real challenge. It wasn’t the problem he initially came to relieve. He was the problem.

My friend, the Lord Jesus is challenging you similarly over 2000 years later. If you have lingering pain from situations you think you should be over, dig deeper. Get to the real issue of the symptoms you have been treating. Let the Holy Spirit expose the root of your pain, and trust Him to guide you to a solution that will provide the lasting healing you desire.

My prayer for you today is that:

  • Your lingering pain will push you closer to the Lord Jesus.
  • As you seek Him, He will expose the root of your lingering pain.
  • As He exposes the root, He will sever it and heal you completely and permanently.
  • Those who witness your eventual transformation will glorify God as the greatest healer of all time.

Dig deeper my friend. Trust God with your delicate areas, and let Him perform the investigative surgery needed to get to the root of what really ails you. Then, trust Him to uproot the situation that has held you bound.