The massage table has much to teach us about the Christian life. As we lay there, we lay vulnerable before the massage therapist. Through the application of pressure, we quickly learn how much work there is to be done. We realize just how broken and hurting we are. We all carry stress and worry and fear in our bodies. And as the pressure increases, there are moments when we want to cry uncle, to plead for relief. But the therapist knows what he/she is doing. The end result is worth this temporary pain.
Life circumstances often cause us to feel similarly. At times, we cry out, "Take this cup," but that may not be the Father's will. Pain is part of the process. God is working all things in our lives for our good and His glory. Our lives are safe in His hands, and we can trust Him. If He’s pressing in or bringing something to the surface, He means well in dealing with it. Even when ignoring the difficulty seems easiest, God intends to bring us much more joy, fullness, and freedom through the pain.
The massage therapist knows the depth of our brokenness only by drawing near, but God knows and sees us no matter how close we feel to Him. Even so, God draws near to us in both the Son’s humanity and the Spirit’s indwelling. We can now draw near to Him as well. James pleads, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8). God freely offers us rest for our souls, sustaining power, and comfort in our affliction (Matthew 11:29-30, Psalm 55:22, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7). Every day, every struggle is an opportunity to seek Him and to know Him—the God of all comfort—more fully.
And just like one massage doesn’t remedy a lifetime of ailments, one interaction with God will not suffice. He designed us to need Him. We are broken and needy people in a broken and needy world, but we can seek Him and find Him over and over again. We will never outgrow our need for God. He desires for us to love Him more with every hurdle.