Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some Thoughts on God and Suffering

I am listening to the audio book, A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada. You can get it free all this month from Christian Audio. They offer a free audio book each month! An amazing ministry.

In this book I am just amazed at how brave she is. She is writing this book in the midst of her great pain. Usually when I am in a season of great pain I will back off a bit in my writing. Yet I look at her and she is facing it head on. So it has inspired me to do the same.

I have been struggling greatly this past month with migraines. My migraines are worse then the ordinary variety because they can cause a stroke. Because of my brain scan it is possible I have actually had a stroke during an episode. So it is something that is a little scary and I take seriously. It is frustrating when I have to fight daily through a season like this. To complicate matters my bones as well have been very arthritis like. Again, a battle with everyday pain. Yet no one knows. It is an invisible illness.

Invisible illness is so hard. It feels like being trapped in a prison of invisible bars which no one can see but yourself. There is no breaking free. I am completely at the mercy of God. Why? Not really sure. Yet I trust. I trust Him and it keeps me desperate for Him so for that I give Him glory. However or why I have been given this companion of pain, it has been allowed by God. So it is for a greater purpose than I can even see. I trust. I walk. I cry. I trust.

Love this quote, speaking of pain, "It is a full blown attack on my mind body and spirit. It is like an all out war and it is not pretty. I believe satan views disability as his last great stronghold to defame the great character of God. The devil relishes when God's people complain and doubt."  ~Joni Eareckson Tada

It is funny with invisible disability because as I ride up the elevator at church with older people they look at me and comment that I am youth. Oh to feel like a youth. I just grin and wonder if my pain is the same as theirs. . What happens when I turn their age? Will the pain increase? Will it stay the same? I just say a quiet prayer for them. I understand pain more than anyone knows. I look normal and healthy so they cannot understand. I think even if I said it is painful to take the stairs, they would not believe me.

So what do you do with this? You can get biter and turn away from God seeing that what He allows is not best. You can be your own savior. Or you can turn to Him, and absorb the pain while counting it a joy that you even get to share in some of the sufferings of Christ. It is an honor. It is a deeper place of intimacy.

Don't get me wrong, God is the Healer. He can heal. I pray for healing all the time. Yet this is the time to understand what to do when He says no. When He says no, there is a blessing even in that. Trust Him.

I just want to encourage you if you are suffering with an invisible illness. Hang tight to Christ. He never lets go. Rest in Him. Trust Him. Know nothing is allowed unless God knows it will bring a greater glory. Trust Him. So you will not see me complaining. It is pointless. I will just keep on smiling and trusting and enjoying a greater place of intimacy that only my Lord and Savior can understand. If you are in this same place please let me know. I would love to pray for you.


Michael Antinarella said...

I like that quote by Joni Eareckson! Satan certainly had a hold on me for a while. I'm deaf (but behave like a "normal" person: I can speak, lip read, and hear somewhat with help of my hearing aids). However, I felt that I was cursed for the longest time. After a few depressing years, a good friend of mine introduced me to Jesus (I accepted!) and also showed me John 9:1-6. The reason why I'm deaf has nothing to do with me or even my parents...it's to somehow give God glory. It's true...half the people I come up to everyday don't even notice my hearing aids, and those who do are amazed, and I give God glory for that. I don't 100% understand why I'm deaf, but like you with your migraines and your pains, I accept it because it somehow glorifies God. I have total and complete faith that I will gain my hearing upon arrival in heaven...until then, I have to "suffer", and I have no problem with that.

Amy said...

I get menstrual migraines. They are so bad.

I will pray for you. I just had a miracle. My hubby has been jobless for two years. He had an interview Monday and was hired on the spot and starts next Monday. Just from a comment made to a homeschool Mom at our group. It looks stable and has benefits. Praise God. It was the most stressful two years. We moved here to Texas in 2009. I left all my friends and family. I lived in Ohio for 38 years. There was times that I felt that God wasn't listening. But I kept praying.

No matter what, keep praying.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Thanks Michael and Amy. I am praying for each of you. God is good!!

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