“Or God disciplines people with pain on their sickbeds,
with ceaseless aching in their bones.”
Job 33:19, NLT
“Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others. Your greatest ministry will most likely come out of your greatest hurt.”
There really is not anything I can say about your pain that will make you feel better. Words and counsel are almost always pathetically weak. Many will want to speak to you, they mean well, but seem to lack authenticity and wisdom.
Pain, in every way is always evil and dark. I have friends who struggle with migraines, and others with Lou Gehrig disease. A few friends have been incredibly injured, with bad disabilities. Some have severe diabetes and one has a degenerative hip syndrome. A dear elderly saint is in her later stages of Alzheimer’s. One of my friends has cerebral palsy. I had very close friend who just died with colon cancer. Pain has been a constant companion to them. It is a definite issue. And yet, there are also terrible mental disorders– and vicious schizophrenia, depression, and frightening paranoia that cripples them, they need medication.
We who hurt deeply, have an option of growing into gentle people. Gentleness is not a given, in so many ways it is earned. Not in the sense of attaining something, but “experiencing” something. Our pain drips down on us while we sleep, and we discover we start caring about others, which is new. Tears of love, mercy and grace begin to flow, often coming after years of stoic hardness.
“Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings.”
Having to live for the rest of your normal life with this pain can be horrifying, and incomprehensible.
God’s grace does meet us, we find. But there are some moments of empty desperation. So few understand, and even fewer can help. Some have asked me if I had the faith to be healed. But, doesn’t it take just as much faith to be ill? Think about it.
If you had never known afflictions in your own life, how do you think that you can touch those ‘nail-scarred’ hands which Jesus meets you with? And the apostles, and all those martyrs from every generation in an unbroken line of suffering. Grace grows considerably faster from a bed of pain. It has our Father’s “Miracle Grow” in it.
Some should try to readjust themselves. Faith doesn’t always lead us to sweet victory; but it does lead us to obedience. And when it grows this way, sometimes victory will come. But our Father places such a premium price on our obedience. When we hurt, we grow.
“Ah, afflicted one, your disabilities were meant to unite with God’s enablings, your weakness to combine with His power. God’s grace is at hand –sufficient– and at its best when human weakness is most profound. Appropriate it and learn that those who wait on God are stronger in their weakness than the sons of men in their stoutest health and vigor.”
“He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”