Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Joy in Pain?

When pain is present it tries to take over everything.  Priorities shift without your consent.  Focus is lost. Panic spreads. Fear invades.  Pain is controlling, isolating, debilitating.

My poor hubby is still battling lots of pain and little answers.  He's been strapped onto a health roller coaster the past six months and all of us are ready for departure.

Watching someone you love hurting and being unable to fix it is the absolute worst feeling.  This past weekend was spent in a cloud of chaos and emotions, as we witnessed him suffering with nothing to do to ease his pain.  At times, the pain was so great that there was no position to find comfort and sleep wasn't even possible.

He had every reason to be grumpy or irritable but wasn't, even when we made a wasted trip out for help or when two giant needles were shoved into his knee.  Through it all, he joked around, shared kindness and left people with a smile.  He continually amazes me.

I'd like to say his wife modeled the same but instead I stewed...and worried...and showed frustration.  Sunday I snapped at Noah to get out of bed and ready for church, then slumped onto a footstool in tears, pouring out my prayers at His feet.

I was saddened for Tim, scared for our future and angry this was happening.

When you've faced great suffering in life, there comes a point when you feel the quota has been met.  At times I just wanted to scream, haven't we been through enough?  Bitterness can easily creep in and fill the spaces, pushing out any chance for hope, if we let it.  I could feel emotions bubbling, as I battered back and forth with God.  From irritation to desperation.

Yet every time the enemy would hiss and bring up flashes of all we've endured, I would find myself countering with all God's blessings and promises.  And my heart would lift up scripture from deep within that would bring me peace.

In this life you will have trouble...
but do not worry about tomorrow...
for our present troubles are small...
not worth comparing to the glory that awaits

In the midst of Tim's struggles, our family has been in constant prayer for the new pastor God is calling to our church.  I know it isn't a coincidence that as I have served in this role, we've been under ongoing attacks.  I also know the enemy wants nothing more but to distract me from the task at hand. This could easily discourage me, yet the fact that Satan has been so busy fills me with excitement for what is to come.  Big spiritual attacks mean bigger plans for salvation.  

This I know above all....My God is greater.  My God provides.  My God's promises never fail.

Good - beyond my imagination - is on the horizon and I'm sustained in resting in this knowledge.  Joy fills me, despite the pain we are presently enduring, because I know who holds our future.

Even when we feel weak, we can be strong in God's power.  Even in suffering and pain, we can rejoice.


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