My daughter recently underwent oral surgery to remove several impacted molars. After the successful surgery, she was instructed to place an ice pack on her cheeks for twenty minutes on then twenty minutes off throughout the first day. Although this treatment may seem counterintuitive, it is based upon the pathophysiology of basic wound repair. The body is attempting to repair the damaged tissue which is inflamed. Cold reduces the inflammation by limiting blood flow to the area, thereby reducing the pain and swelling, and allowing the repair to commence. This makes sense. But removing the cold for twenty minutes would increase blood flow and allow the pain to reappear. Why will creating more pain help with the healing? While stopping the cold ice pack will temporarily increase the pain and inflammation, it is also facilitating the clearance of toxins and damaged tissue, repaired during the time of cold treatment, by increasing blood flow to the area. For healing to efficiently take place, it requires a treatment, alternating between pain and comfort.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1:2-5 (ESV)
When God heals me, His methods may also seem counterintuitive. I expect peace and comfort, a spiritual cooling treatment to reduce the pain. While He has certainly done this in my life, some times the pain is accompanied with more trials, temporarily increasing the pain and suffering I experience. Can I take joy in this? I should because He is using this temporary increase in pain and trials to create a permanent healing.
When trials come your way, take comfort that God is using them to bring you to completion and perfection, in the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.