With extra time at home I have had the opportunity to sort through some old files. I was intrigued to find a collection of writings from many years ago. It’s interesting to go back and review my words from another time. I am going to share one such blurb with you now because I feel it is pertinent to us in these times:
Lord, it hurts so much I think I am going to scream. Why must I be in constant pain? Will there ever be any relief? I don’t know how I am going to go on.
Do these words sound familiar? We all experience pain in various forms – emotional, physical, and mental – at different seasons of life. At times the pain can be formidable. Sometimes we just cannot see the way ahead as the pain clouds our vision.
At present I am dealing with intense physical pain as I suffer from TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). Having my jaw and head hurt constantly; having a diet of only soft foods; not being able to talk properly because of a splint worn constantly in my mouth, all can be overwhelming.
I know that stress is the cause of this disorder Lord. I have tried to give my worries and concerns to You but obviously I am not succeeding. The worst thing is, not only does stress cause TMJ but it aggravates it as well with the stress it itself causes. I feel like I am going in circles and never making any headway.
What do I do now? I still have to parent my young children and take care of my household. I still have a huge amount of other responsibilities that are on my shoulders. Lord I need Your guidance and help.
The more I pray the more I sense your Presence. I do feel that this is a growing time for me and that I can find answers in Your Word. I am not sure what lessons I will glean from this experience but I know and trust that, Lord, You never take me on a path for no reason. Please remind me that I am never out of Your reach. It’s so hard to remember when my head is exploding with pain. I lose my focus so easily Lord. I cannot go through this experience on my own. I will lean on You and trust that You will sustain me.
I am also keenly aware that others are watching me and my reaction to my painful situation, including my children. Do I handle this circumstance with grace or with grimaces? Do I show the hope I have in Christ through all this or blame God for neglecting me? Do I live my life grumpy and complaining or emanate the peace of Christ? It takes so much energy Lord to put on a brave face in front of them all.
I have tried many things on my own to make life better at this time. I surround myself with positive things like relaxing music, inspirational books, and calming scenery. I follow all the treatment protocols to the letter. I seek to be around positive, supportive people to help boost my morale. Yet I know that none of these will give me the strength that You can Lord. I am reminded again and again that I cannot fix this on my own. I have to put my trust in the ultimate Healer.
Many days I wonder if I will ever be restored to health. The pain has been going on for so long with no end in sight. I am trying to hold on Lord. Please don’t leave me.
These words were written almost twenty years ago. I am happy to report that my jaw did heal, although it was a very long process. That painful time in my life is a constant reminder of where I don’t want my life to go. I do not want to be the worried, stressed, uptight person I was in those years.
It truly bugs me that I let life get to me so much that it caused me such physical pain. I know better and have grown up believing that God is there caring for me. How did I get in such a mess?
Even the strongest of Christians face turmoil, often unsuccessfully. We are not immune. The devil is prowling around like a lion waiting to devour its prey. He works at our weak points and tries to drag us down.
On that sheet of notepaper where I found this story, these are the last words written: “God is in control”. It was that knowledge that got me through such trying times. The devil can try what he may but Jesus has won the battle already. Our place in heaven is secure when we believe that Jesus is our risen Lord and Saviour and that He died for our sins. Nothing in this world, no pain or suffering, will ever separate us from His grace and mercy. God knows our needs and offers us His continued care. That is something to hold onto.
God is in control. Never doubt that.
“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b NIV)