Stop right there. You need to feel free to skip this one.
My Tips are normally not this long, however this Tip is for people who suffer with emotional or physical pain or have a loved one that does.
Next week we will get back to our regular Tiny Tips.
My prayer is that people who are suffering will find some hope in these words.
This week is the 10th anniversary of when I hit my head on June 4, 2007 and bruised the right and left sides of my brain. Tonight as I type, I am in a great deal of physical pain and once again tears are running down my face as I worship my Savior.
I looked back today at something I posted three years ago on the 7th anniversary and wanted to post it again this week. I am still in a great amount of pain everyday and little has changed. It feels like I wrote it yesterday and we had a big response from it then: people who were suffering found encouragement through our Awesome Lord.
So here we go.
Seven Years of Pain
As I write this, it is late Wednesday night June 4th, 2014 and like a lot of nights, my lips are numb from the pain in my head. As I write, it still feels like someone hit me in the head with a baseball bat, my eyes are teary and the pain is a strong 7 out of 10.
I don’t talk about it very much these days. However, since today is the 7th year anniversary of hitting my head, and it’s been a rough week from the pain, I thought I would write a few words about pain and suffering and where I am with the whole thing.
For those of you who don’t know, seven years ago today I accidentally hit my head on the floor and life has not been the same since. The pain in my head started that day (I just did the math) and has been a constant for 2,555 days without a day off. Unrelated and for unknown reasons I also have repeated problems with kidney stones.
A lot of people suffer from chronic pain. I have heard a lot of different stories from a lot of different people. One thing most of these people agree with me on, is that the emotional pain they have experienced in their lives is as bad or worse than the physical pain. The physical pain I have in my life does not compare to the emotional pain I have experienced from loss and living in a broken world.
I say this not to downplay anyone’s physical pain; I know first hand that it is often merciless and consuming. But rather to say a lot of people struggle with different kinds of pain and whether physical or emotional, pain is suffering and my heart goes out to people who suffer. (It’s amazing how much more compassion I have now for anyone with ANY kind of pain.)
I say all that to say…
Three Short Things
First: When we suffer in life, IF we believe there is a God, we either believe:
A. That God is for us. Or,
B. That God is against us.
So, if you believe in God, do you believe He is for you or against you? This is a really important question. This is one that I came to terms with when realizing what Jesus did for me, suffering for me (He was in horrific pain and agony) and dying in my place. I believe with everything that is in me that God is on my team. Maybe better said, I believe that I am on God’s team. We are on the same team. So, what I am saying is I believe God is for me.
Second: When bad things happen to us, if we believe in God, we have only one of two responses. We either,
1. Push away from God. Or,
2. We draw close to Him.
Since I became a follower of Christ in the early 80’s, I have spent my fair share of pushing away from God. The biggest problem with this is I honestly believe that no matter how hard I push, He never leaves me. So these days when bad things happen, I turn around and fall in His arms, because I don’t get anywhere with the whole pushing away thing. For me, it’s become a waste of time and energy. So, I draw close to God. Maybe better said, I believe God is drawing me closer to Him.
Third: We either,
1. Live in despair, believing that this pain and suffering will always consume us. Or,
2. We have HOPE that better days lie ahead without pain and suffering. And because of that HOPE, let me say this, I have JOY TODAY that runs deeper in my soul than any darkness or despair because I believe I am not alone. He is with me.
My Conclusion in 2014
My pastor and friend, Dave Wilson, gave a great message a couple of weeks ago in church on Heaven. It was a great reminder that there is an amazing place where God has made a home for us. And when we get there, there will be no darkness of any kind. We will live in PEACE in the presence of the One who said, “I am the Light of the world.”
So, seven years of daily pain has found me here tonight as I write: Believing that God is for me. Drawing closer to Him. And having deep JOY TODAY because I am not alone, and HOPE for tomorrow because God is building a home for me. That makes me want to move beyond my world of pain and reach out to hurting people and say “There is HOPE. There is JOY. There is PEACE. And He loves you so much!
In Closing from 2017
My wife Carol has suffered for years from a rare autoimmune disease. Carol has also lost her mom and dad, her sister and brother and father-in-law who she loved dearly.
So from Carol and me, we really want to encourage you to take a minute right now and put your pain and suffering (whatever kind it may be) into God’s hands.
Ask God right now to comfort you, bless you, give you Hope, Peace and Joy!
And don’t ever stop praying for healing. We have seen God heal us of many things in unbelievable and dramatic ways over the years, both emotional and physical.
We know the truth… He loves you and He is for you!