“For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal.” Job 5:18
Pain, searing, aching, mind-numbing, eye-blurring, pain radiated through every tendon, ligament, and muscle. I had been spared such misery for a few years, thanks to a medication I no longer take. The pain returned with a vengeance—remembered, hated, debilitating, annoying.
Due to side-effects, I chose to return to pain rather than develop a new health problem. I made the decision, knowing what was likely, praying it wouldn’t happen. I remember telling myself that God must care for me very much to allow me to continue suffering when He could end it in an instant.
I want to be everything He wants me to be, but the price is dear. A chronic pain problem has haunted me for more years than I can count. I never used to tell anyone about it, tried my best to hide it from everyone, including my husband, but a friend said she sees it in my eyes, even if I say nothing.
Some people carry emotional pain and scars, mine is physical. It is for my benefit and God’s glory, not punishment, not a lack of love. Job is my example, his God, my hope. Over the years I’ve become quite fond of the old fellow. He speaks words of truth that comfort me and give me hope. He reminds me I am not alone.
Many identify with my trials. Not everyone understands my solace. Trials can make you bitter or make you better. The difference is that bitter has an “I” in it. When I stop focusing on myself, I can see God. I can recognize the suffering of others, and in doing so, share the comfort God has offered me.
Blessings can be wrapped in the guise of pain—the opportunity to identify with someone who has lost hope, who can’t see God working, who feels alone. If I hide the fact of what I suffer, if I allow it to conquer me and rob me of hope, and turn my focus inward, I rob God of my service. I rob myself of the blessing of seeing God to touch the lives of others through me.
Look to your own life and choose to allow God to use you in whatever trial you are in today.
© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
All Rights Reserved.