Conceal mental pain – increased burden

By Dave Henning / May 11, 2022

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear.  The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden; it’s easier to say, ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say, ‘My heart is breaking.’ “- C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“Stretched out my hands to you, as thirsty for you as a desert thirsty for rain.  Hurry with your answer, GOD!  I’m nearly at the end of my rope.”- Psalm 143:6-7 (The Message)

In Chapter 1 (“Holding On When Life Feels Out of Control”) of Holding On, Sheila Walsh talks about the question ‘If God . . . why?’  Most significantly, Sheila sees this question as one of the greatest challenges to holding on when life feels out of control.  We know that, in theory, God could change our circumstances if He wanted to.

So, the author asks, why hold on to the One able to help us if He doesn’t?  Can we still love and worship a God we fail to understand?  Yet, when life falls apart, every single one of us must wrestle with these questions.

Most of us, Sheila believes, find a way to hold on to Jesus when we walk through adversity.  However, we need to establish the kind of faith that refuses to let go in the face of unrelenting battle.  When we feel at the end of our rope.  Furthermore, Sheila asks, what do you do when:

  • life feels out of control?
  • there’s nothing you can do?
  • you believe that God is good, that God is in control, but nothing makes sense to you anymore?

Certainly, Sheila exhorts, we need to reach out:

“Let’s be honest, sometimes when we’re overwhelmed, particularly as Christians, we’re tempted to retreat into ourselves.  We don’t want anyone to judge or shame us.  We feel bad enough.  Sometimes we don’t know how to reach out to others when we’re barely holding on.”

But when our hearts are broken, we need to be able to say it out loud.  If we don’t, we sink deeper and deeper into the pit.”

Today’s question: When do you feel inclined to conceal mental pain?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A silent ache – feeling alone”

About the author

Dave Henning

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