Where is God in the Pain?

I never cease to be amazed at how God teaches me and convicts me through my kids.  This is another one of those stories.

Here’s the background on the situation.  These days I find myself struggling through some pain.  Late last year, I woke up one morning with some lower back pain.  Within a couple of weeks, that pain had spread into my leg and hip.  I went to a chiropractor a couple of times, and it seemed to be getting a little better.  Then, over the Christmas vacation, including a trip in a mini-van to and from North Carolina, the pain increased substantially.  Over the last couple of weeks that we have been back, I have continued to see a doctor regularly and do some physical therapy to try to alleviate the pain.  Following a session with the physical therapist this past Thursday, my pain level increased significantly (hopefully that is actually a sign that it is getting better).  Well, Saturday was a particularly bad day.  In addition to everything else, I came down with a bad cold and sore throat to boot.  At times the pain in my back and leg was so severe that it bordered on excruciating, and I’ve been told I have a high threshold for pain.  Whether I sat, or stood or laid down, the pain would not get any better.

At one point in the afternoon, Jacob (my 8 year old) told me:

“Dad, I hope your leg gets better soon.  Remember, God has a reason for everything.”

There is was again.  Words from God in the mouth of an 8-yr-old that shifted my focus in an instant.  I had been concentrating on me, and frankly starting to feel sorry for myself.  Anytime my focus shifts in that direction – towards me and away from God – things just seem to get out of whack.  So, I am left with two things to do and think about out of this whole experience:

  1. Pray about, and try to figure out, what God is trying to teach me in this situation.  Given that a lot of my focus over the last couple of weeks has been on how frustrating it is not to be able to do normal things that I want to do, I imagine what he is trying to teach me has something to do with total reliance on him; and
  2. Marvel and praise him for how he continues to work through my kids to make me a better child of his.

2 Comments

  1. I heard today a news report from Haiti. In it a man was singing in French, with a guitar.
    Someone translated for the BBC reporter.

    He was singing:
    “My mother is dead
    My father is dead
    My sister is dead
    My child is dead
    The government is dead
    My country is dead
    All I have left…
    Is JESUS!

    His suffering made me think, “What would I do if everything was stripped away from me and all I had left was Jesus?” Would I sing?

  2. It’s things like this that help to keep me focused on God. Stories like this reming me that my pain pales in comparison to the pain of so many others. Things could be a whole lot worse. That keeps me from feeling sorry for myself and focusing again on all the good things God is doing, and has done, for me. I pray for the kind of faith this man has.

    The lyrics from the Matt Redman song,, “Blessed Be His Name” keep running through my head:

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    Thanks for your comment.

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