Wednesday, January 25, 2012


If I'm blessed to move through this disease to a place of functionality and comfort again (which my Dr. encourages me that I probably will), I don't want to forget the place of chronic and unrelenting pain that many others struggle with or are given grace to invite in as a friend. I think this issue of pain may be one where there's a spot to serve hurting I write to remember.

From the very little I know so far, I'll comment on chronic suffering. I'm certain some or many have it way, way worse.
-Sleepless nights of sharp or dull & unrelenting pain = exhaustion
-Eagerness for the early morning hour to arrive
-Inability to do what was considered normal - or anything at all really
-Loss of ability to cope with the pain by the evening, if not in the morning
-Desperation for God to pour out more grace, as it is sufficient with the's just sometimes very hard to grasp His grace
-A constant pool of tears waiting to pour out
-Wearing only a select few items in the wardrobe, those that are least difficult to get on and off
-Reluctancy to commit to doing anything or even coffee dates, not knowing how one will feel
-Or committing to an activity, only to have to cancel
-Wanting to stay home almost all the time....very fun for the spouse
-Going to bed right after dinner....more fun for the spouse, which also means turning down dinner invitations and never inviting one over to your house for dinner
-Wimpy hugs to avoid pain
-An occasional question from one who doesn't know you well that goes like this: "Are you fine? You look fine." or "I hope you're getting better and will be on your feet soon" What do you say - such nice sentiments, but you know you're on a long journey and this is not a 24 flu
-Hoping no one will want to shake your hand at church (ouch)
-The spouse or caretaker finding each day to be ground-hogs-day, and the corresponding sadness to have the relationship be 0-100%

And then SO MANY blessings are given, a few of which are:
-People coming out of the woodwork telling you they are praying for you, and they do
-Sweet cards of humor and encouragement
-Phone calls
-Books of inspiration that are easy to hold and read
-Compassion to permit my tears
-Questions that indicate someone really does want to know, even though it seems like a worn out record
-Conversations that get one's mind off the pain
-God really showing up to comfort and encourage
-Devotional readings speaking just to you
-Comforting touch and light massages
-Talking with someone who is or has been in chronic's a club no one wants to join, but is a "fellowship" of suffering with others who understand

"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." II Cor 12:9

"No temptation/trial has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted/tried beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted/tried, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I Cor 10:13

Amen and amen Lord God!


  1. Real stuff. Real issues. Thanks for acknowledging the pain without becoming defined by it. And the ability to retain a spirit of gratitude in the midst of it is a beautiful and powerful spiritual discipline. He's in the hard place with us! (Gen. 39:20-21)

    With respect and admiration,
    John S

  2. Thank you so much John. "Discipline" is a key word! The sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving is a life saver, a perspective modifier, and a spirit lifter!

    Thank you for the reminder that God is in the hard place with's easy to think of Him "there," but "here" gives me strength!

    God bless you brother, comrade, and Pastor! I continue to be thankful for you!