My trip to Scotland and Ireland was wonderful, but it’s always good to be home. Summer is winding down fast here in Western Wisconsin, our maple tree is half orange and dropping leaves, right on schedule; usually the third week in September the trees start to change color.
In this post I want to write about the emptiness we all feel at various times in our life. For me, it generally stems from a loss or is a season of grieving. My mother died when I had just turned 14, it was already a tumultuous time; with hormones raging, a new school to attend and the fact that my home life was changing drastically.
Here I am, 40+ years later and I still deeply miss my mother. It may very well be the definitive change of seasons, the earth is getting ready for her greatest time; hibernation with renewal fast on her heels.
I tend to go deeper into my faith during these times, I wonder if you do too; or do you crawl deeper into your bed, a warm comforter or dog to soothe your heart?
But you do see; you take note of misery and sorrow; you take the matter in hand. To you the helpless can entrust their cause; you are the defender of orphans.
There are two schools of thought when dealing with chronic pain. 1) Deal with it, internalize, tell everyone you are fine when you are not and 2) Deal with it, find other avenues for venting (journaling, pain management, psychological therapy, etc.) and acknowledge your pain when asked.
What is the biblical take on chronic pain? Is there one?
One thing I discovered is that there are plenty of verses relating to physical pain:
Oh, that God would grant the thing I long for most—to die beneath his hand and be freed from his painful grip.
He complained about a headache and soon was moaning in pain. His father said to one of the servants, “Carry him home to his mother.”
I am worn out with pain; every night my pillow is wet with tears.
When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman army captain came and pled with him to come to his home and heal his servant boy who was in bed paralyzed and racked with pain.
I have lived with chronic pain since 2008. My sacroiliac joint was acting up. It never got better and seven years later it brought me to a pain management doctor. I was not gung-ho about medicine to relieve pain; I still wanted to live; which meant being able drive, work, function as a human being. And it did, finally. Eight months later we found the solution. It does take trial and error and a doctor who ‘gets’ you.
In my opinion, it also takes lots of prayer; your own and those of others. What are we to lay at the altar? Only the minuscule things? I think not. I believe the bigger the request, the more power lies in the prayer and ultimately, EVERY ANSWER TO PRAYER acknowledges our relationship with God.