Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pain and a Promise

Over the last couple years I have made a conscious choice to look for the good in whatever location and situation I find myself. I've not always done the best job at this, but overall I think I am growing in contentment and thankfulness by recognizing the blessings and the beauty that surrounds me. I am grateful that the Lord is working in me in this way.

Taking pictures more regularly has been an exercise in this endeavor as well. I love that the camera focuses in on something pretty or interesting and disregards the rest. The other day we were driving out of town and I was becoming bored with the freeway and surrounding industrial scenery of warehouses and concrete. Then I noticed the reflection of the pretty blue sky with cumulus clouds and palm trees in the car mirror. The angle of the car caused the uglier parts to be cut out, and what was being reflected was lovely and carefree. There was a huge distinction between the bigger picture of what actually surrounded me, yet what was reflected was equally real.

It made for a fun pass-time as I interacted with my camera and what I saw.

This next picture is interesting to me as I think of all the different ways light is being refracted and reflected, and how so many objects are visible in the small space of the mirror. It's the science-y part of me coming through: Optics was my favorite unit in high school physics. I think at this point we were off the freeway, so you can see the form of a typical southern California structure in the bottom part of the window and the reflection of other cars on the side of our car. 

Well, as I anticipated some time this afternoon while everyone else naps, I began to think about what I could post. It's not like I have predictable time to do such things as blog, so I take my opportunities when they come. It's not my preference to blog about something negative, as though I am complaining or looking for a way to vent, so it is with some reluctance I write about what I've got on my mind right now.


Since some time around junior high I have had trouble with back pain. Generally it has just been physical pain to contend with, an on-again-off-again routine with more pain-free days. I've always had to be careful of what I do and how I do it, but for the most part it hasn't been a huge deal. This year, however, it has been different. I've been to physical therapy and committed myself to following the exercise routines to strengthen the surrounding structures.  When my sessions ended before Christmas I was feeling great, hopeful that the exercises would keep me strong and flexible. Then in January the pain began to come back, but it wasn't consistent and I was fine for the most part. I don't know what brought on the pain again this time, but it's here. Every day it gets worse.

My therapist said that with my condition, the best thing is to keep going. If I stop moving because it hurts, things will actually get worse. I can't imagine stopping - you know, there are things to do - but it is difficult to keep going. As of Friday, I have a hard time bending my lower back. Jobs like loading the dishwasher and bathing the little boys are difficult, as is putting on a pair of socks. (But my sitting posture is great because I can't slouch! I sit like a lady and then get up like a granny.) Since the back muscles stabilize and balance the body, any extension of my arms or legs causes pain as my back muscles adjust to a shift in balance. Radiating and spasmic pain even reminds me of labor. Sometimes I notice that I am breathing in and out without fully exhaling because of the pain.

This week I was helping Michael with memory verses as I was doing my exercises. One of his verses was Revelation 21:3-4, which says, "...He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

What a great promise! No more pain. No more sorrow (as it says in other translations). No more death. 

I have been comforted by those verses numerous times this week. There will be a final end to every kind of pain and suffering. This world has been in a state of decline since the Fall. Jesus' death and resurrection has taken away the eternal consequence of sin for those who believe, but the sorrow of sin will remain till that glorious day when He returns.

This verse has also brought to my attention the fact that I am not longing for heaven the way I should. Perhaps I am longing for a cessation of pain, but I need to want to be with the Lord more than anything else. I pray that my commitment and love for Him would increase and that my satisfaction in the temporal would decrease. 

In addition, I am reminded that pain and suffering is God's kindness to me this week as He turns my thoughts to Him and to seeing Him one day. It's a reminder not to get too comfortable here, to long for Him, and to draw strength from Him each day. I need His strength to suffer well; I need to look to Him, and not to myself.

I am reminded that He suffered unimaginable pain and anguish on my behalf. 

I'm humbled and thankful for the knowledge that my pain is by His divine plan and for His glory. 


1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your thought even i feel the same this is the way one should feel and live


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