Our bodies, in our fight or flight reactions to pain, try to protect us by avoiding difficult situations. Physical anxiety is merely our bodies’ protection response, providing us with more energy than we need to problem solve, but enough to escape the threat. However, most of our threats aren’t physical. There are not animal attacks to escape or boulders to lift. Stress in our lives is more mental than physical, and the sympathetic nervous system energy is interpreted by our brains as anxiety.
Intuitively, the natural remedy for this would seem to be to avoid the pain. Try to keep from anything that causes us the first signs of stress and anxiety. However, this choice is very limiting. Avoiding people or stressful situations doesn’t help us control our bodies’ reactions. In fact, it merely keeps us from opportunities.
Seeing pain as a natural part of our human existence prepares us for facing stress with the knowledge that God empowers us for the success required. Do I always believe this? Please. The human condition is a fallen one, and we often have to be taught the same lessons over and over again. We must accept that we feel the pain while staying in the present moment. We must not run, but securely stand in a sense of peace.
The Bible speaks of the armor of God, and the part of the armor that gives us stability is the shoes of the gospel of peace. By recognizing and accepting God’s peace, we are able to securely stand when pain comes instead of running in fear.