Tag Archives: pain

“A little more suffering, please.”

Has anyone said this?

From the beginning of our lives, pain and suffering is something we want to avoid.

Physical pain helps us to know when we are endangering ourselves or something is wrong.

Physical pain is beneficial, because our physical bodies need to be protected from harm and pain can be a warning.

That’s why a parent teaches their child not to touch something “hot”, not to eat or drink something “yucky”.

It’s a safety issue.

So, purposefully guarding our bodies from harmful substances and activities is wise, it honors the One who gave it to us.

Yet, the spirit is a different matter, completely.

James 1:2-4 NKJV — My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

It’s not comfortable or fun to “fall into various trials”.

Actually, the average American person spends a good deal of their adulthood trying to avoid trials.

Scripture makes it clear God uses trials.

He works on our character by walking us through tribulations.

Romans 5:3 KJV — And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Trials are not something a we have to look hard to find.

As Christ followers, we should expect them.

John 15:18 NKJV — “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jesus’s life is our example and that includes suffering.

He suffered to an extent no human can comprehend.

God became man, to allow His own creation to accuse Him of being Himself, beat Him and crucify Him.

He came, choosing the greatest suffering, that mankind might be saved from eternal suffering, the consequence we chose when sin contaminated our race.

With this gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, we get another choice, that of following Him.

It’s the best kind of suffering.

To live in the world and yet not to be of the world.

To walk daily, choosing to allow God and His Word to work in us, continually shaping our hearts.

Letting patience have it’s perfect work that we might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV — For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for salvation and Your example to us in all things. Lord, please continue to hone our hearts and to guide our steps. Lord, help our mouths to be full of Your praise, our eyes fixed upon Your Word, our hearts tender, and our minds focused upon You. Lord, it goes against our earliest emotions to be willing to die to ourselves, but it’s the only way we can live unto You. Lord, please help us to better understand how to rejoice when we fall into trials and how to walk with You in patience. Thank You for Your Word, Your truth, and Your faithfulness. I love You, Jesus. Amen

Daisies

To begin, I’m sharing something quite personal and I pray it blesses you.

Many years ago I was struggling and frustrated with circumstances.

I kept praying about it and the Lord surprised me with a perspective turn.

He reminded me this place is not my home, and heaven will be more glorious than imaginable.

Thus, I began to learn to look on heaven as a real place and my forever home.

It has actually helped me enjoy the things here more.

One of the things I expect to find in heaven is a garden.

Since, it was the first place God put people it makes sense to me.

Not to mention, I deeply love flowers, all kinds of beautiful flowers.

I’ve found so much comfort in knowing heaven is my home.

Especially, during the seasons when I’m struggling a lot physically.

Last March I got very sick.

Several days worth of illness worse than I’d had since my health crumbled a few years ago.

During those days of struggle I prayed a lot.

I lifted up others and talked with the Lord about heart things.

I prayed a good deal about the future of our family.

One of the times I was struggling the Lord brought to mind a bunch of daisies.

Flowers are created by God, the beauty and joy I find in a daisy reminds me of the greatness of God.

“I love daisies, Lord. Thank You for creating them.”

And it might sound strange, but I thought about daisies often when feeling the worst.

Because the Creator, who can handle the delicate intricacies of a single pedal, can handle my life.

And my soul is safe in His hands.

When Jase and I were down south for his doctor’s appointment we stopped at the Salvation Army and got a few things including three bags of yarn.

I was prayerfully considering what God would have me make when I felt led to try a new pattern I’m learning.

As I began, I was praying for guidance and made a row out of some pretty variegated yarn, but felt I should do something different for the next row.

There was a lot more white yard than yellow.

It made sense to use the yellow on the inside of the circle and switch to white for the larger outside.

After making the first one for row two I clearly saw the pattern was making daisies.

Since last March, daisies are very special to me.

And I realized God has given me the opportunity to make a daisy blanket which will serve as a wonderful reminder of God’s incredible abilities and care.

I feel so blessed.

Truly, He is the most loving, understanding, incredible,…

Words escape my joy in the Lord and my awe at His ways.

I wonder what daisies will look like in heaven?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all these little things which mean so much to me. Lord, please continue to help me to see this life as temporary and to surrender myself completely to You. Lord, I know You are in control of each thing and Your ways are best. Lord in the times when I’m struggling with pain or feeling downhearted please remind me of all Your faithfulness. Lord, You know all my details of today and I trust You and praise You. Lord, thank You for both the seasons of pain and those of joy. For I can praise You in it all. I love You. Amen.

Pain

Matthew 26:48 NKJV — Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
Matthew 27:29‭-‬31 NKJV

Mark 15:15 NKJV — So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Just three portions of scripture, but they contain such incredible pain.

He was betrayed for money by one of his closest friends.

Jesus was beaten after being questioned by the religious leaders. Luke 22:64

He was scourged and beaten by the Roman guards.

He was hanged on a tree and yet had done nothing wrong.

Jesus knew pain and suffering.

And incredible as it is, the truth is He chose it to save mankind.

Thus pain and suffering was the short term cost, but the long term gain was life eternal.

For those who are called by His name, let us take heart when dealing with pain and suffering.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to  be  compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 NKJV

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Pain and suffering are part of this life and Jesus experienced an enormous measure.

But the hope we have in heaven is sweeter by this understanding of the cost to Christ.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalms 34:19 NKJV

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and  be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:3‭-‬4 NKJV

Dear Reader, whatever pain, suffering, or fear you may be walking in or struggling with this day, I pray you realize this world is not the end and for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ there is a marvelous hope, heaven and eternal life.

Pain is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for being our payment for sin and death. Lord, thank You for suffering and experiencing pain to save us. Lord, please continue to help each one of us to look to You in all things. To realize nothing is beyond Your touch if we will simply surrender it to You. Lord, no matter the future, or the ways of this world, thank You for being our rock, our shelter, our provision. You alone are worthy of praise. You alone are the One Who saves. You alone are the security for both this life and eternity. Thank You. Amen.

Past

I love this old photograph of my father and his sister.

What lies in the past?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV — Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Often, it holds regret, shame, and always sin.

“It’s only a white lie…”

“Well, it was just a one time thing…”

“I’m only hurting myself…”

Sin hides beneath falsehood.

Marring each person’s heart.

And sin never hurts only one person.

Instead sin causes a rippling of consequences which can cause harm for generations.

Jesus bore every painful bitter sin upon the cross.

Your sin.

My sin.

1 Peter 2:24 NKJV — who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

But He did it, that we might live for righteousness.

Because the list of those who won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven is only part of the truth.

1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Jesus is the only One Who can cleanse our past and heal our hurt.

Because sin always brings pain.

But Jesus brings salvation.

Whatever your past might hold, relinquish it into the hands of the Lord Jesus and let His truth set you free.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for going through the pain and suffering of the cross to provide freedom from sin and eternal separation from You. Lord, there are so many ways we try to forget or hide from the past, when You paid for it already. Lord, please heal those who are hurting. Let forgiveness and trust replace shame and fear. Lord, let our hearts be humble before You that we might freely lift up those things which cause us anxiety, pain, grief, and suffering. Lord, thank You for loving each one of us. Thank You for being our salvation. Thank You for paying the price. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Because life isn’t easy

I need to cling to God’s Word every day.

Because life isn’t easy,

I must be careful what I allow myself to meditate on.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have to continually give up my own plans, desires, and agenda.

Because life isn’t easy,

I find opportunities to die to my selfishness continually.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have a choice: self-pity or Savior.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can expect opposition and see it as opportunities.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can feel for the broken, hurting, and lost.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can relate to pain and suffering, but I don’t have to be defined by it.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can walk in today, expecting God to use those things which were meant for harm to be turned into good.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can rest in knowing it wasn’t easy for my Lord when He walked this Earth and I know He understands suffering.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God even more when things are good, joyful, and beautiful.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can yearn for Heaven with the sojourner, taking a long journey home.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God for salvation.

Because life isn’t easy,

I value blessings all the more.

Life isn’t easy now.

It wasn’t easy before.

It won’t be easy while the battle between righteousness and sin continues.

But some day, Jesus will return.

And it’s easy to get excited about that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for choosing to do what wasn’t comfortable or easy. Thank You for dieing on the cross. Thank You for living as the Father called You to live, although no one understood You. Thank You for walking daily with me, holding me, sustaining me, teaching me, although I don’t deserve it. Thank You for showing me that it is through the everyday things You are able. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful in all things, forgiving, loving, and resting in You in all things. Thank You. Amen.

Praising God in the midst

Yesterday morning, I woke with a headache.

At first I just figured it was due to my lack of proper sleep.

I began my normal routine.

But I figured out it was more than just a headache when I realized I was struggling to read.

Then I remembered going to bed with a headache.

I got up and took my inhaler and medication.

Which set my stomach off.

I had a migraine.

I was able to get a yogurt down and later to get my migraine medicine down.

I had to remain in bed.

Thankfully, I have a spiral notebook of review work for Jase and he worked on it alone.

Afterwards, he vacuumed the living room and swept.

He brought me toast and tea.

He kept coming in to “check” on me and reheat the heat pack.

Finally, I moved to the couch so he could check on me a little more easily.

Anne had made lunch, but I couldn’t eat any.

I watched Emma with Kate Beckinsale.

I eventually felt good enough to crochet a bit.

By supper I was definitely improving.

I even ate some dinner.

Praise God!

I went to bed with a mild headache and the heat pack and praised God for His blessings.

Because, although I had a headache, I was still able to enjoy our family when they brought the grandbabies over for an evening of cards.

I even got to hold our grandson while I lay on the couch.

It’s such a comfort to know that I can rest in God’s will even when I’m feeling poorly.

It wasn’t too many years ago that I would chastise myself when sick.

I thought days of illness were days wasted.

All my efforts went to trying to get better fast.

But I’ve learned that God is Sovereign.

And I am precious to Him no matter what my health is.

He knows what is best and His grace is sufficient.

I’m feeling much better today and praising God for it.

I’ll be resting again today and I’m praising God for my family who all take such good care of me.

It’s not about what I wanted to do today, it’s about being willing to do what is best.

To surrender myself, my health, my day into God.

And praising Him through it all, because He is worthy.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for today. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for loving and valuing me no matter what I’m experiencing. Lord, please continue to teach me how to trust You and how to walk with You in all things. Thank You for Your unending care and thank You for being good. I trust that even in the days of illness or pain, You are with me. Amen.

Being transparent

I hope, dear Reader, you don’t get weary of my rose pictures.

It’s my favorite and I never get tired of looking at it.

One of the convictions I have is to be as real in my posts as possible.

To safely and appropriately allow you to see what the Lord is doing in my life and my family.

Frankly, it doesn’t always come easily.

But I am convinced that through my transparency, the Lord will be given all the glory.

I never want someone to see my life and say, “Well that’s just you. It’s easy for you because…”

I’m so far from being the reason I can do or have done anything at all.

Yesterday was another example of that truth.

I’d been struggling with being very tired for a while.

But honestly, thought it was just due to the extra things I’ve been doing.

I’ve always struggled with pushing myself too hard.

So, it’s common for me to wear myself out.

However, yesterday morning I knew I was more than just tired.

It was a humbling experience.

It began with calling the doctor’s office.

The receptionist was very kind and pretty soon told me to go to the lab and then be at the office at 10:30.

Due to my extreme discomfort, I was unable to keep my voice smooth.

She was very nice about it, which I appreciated.

I can hear the question: “What was going on?”

Well…-sigh-…I have another UTI.

One of the side effects of my daily inhaler is the possibility of developing a UTI more easily.

I take a supplement everyday in an effort to combat that.

However, it’s still something I have to deal with.

I was very thankful for my doctor, who got me right in.

As I stood at the lab, I was not feeling well, at all.

Despite all my efforts, I couldn’t keep the tears from coming to my eyes as she asked me questions.

She too was very kind.

Her parting words were: “I hope you feel better soon.”

My uncontrollable emotions were embarrassing me.

I hate crying.

So, I really can’t put into words how I felt when my doctor came in and sat down.

My discomfort was obvious and my frustration at being sick with this again ( I was just in last month for the same thing) couldn’t be held in check.

Tears began to spring from my eyes as my voice cracked.

Inside myself I was more embarrassed about my lack of self control than anything, but some part of me was pleading: “I just want to get well!”

I didn’t say any of that, but just that I woke up and was experiencing a lot of discomfort.

I apologized for my emotions.

Thankfully, my doctor is amazing.

He didn’t turn away or act embarrassed.

He gently offered me the tissue box.

I took one and worked hard at pulling it together.

“Take two.”

His voice and manner were exactly what I needed and I was able to contain myself.

I left shortly afterwards.

Anne drove us to Sis’s house where we could wait for my prescription and of course to tell her what the doctor said.

As we traveled, I thought back through it all.

I realized my biggest issue isn’t my physical problems.

It’s my attitude.

Yes, I can be honest and say I get sick of being sick.

However, when that creeps in, I know I’m looking at the wrong thing.

So, I began to praise God.

Starting with thanking God for the perspective adjustment. and then on to the huge numbers of people I’m so thankful for.

My family.

My doctors and nurses. (You get blessed with more if you have to see a specialist.)

My friends who pray for me.

My pharmacist and the people who work there.

It’s such an overwhelming blessing to be treated with such care and love.

I truly don’t deserve any of it.

But Jesus blesses me anyway.

Because of His boundless love.

I’m doing better today.

Both with my physical and my emotional self.

As I spoke with the Lord this morning He talked about transparency.

I wasn’t excited about writing a blog and sharing my struggles.

Yet, His gentle voice spoke deeply to my heart.

You need to be transparent about this.

“Yes, Lord. Whatever brings You glory, even my weakest moments.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for yesterday. Thank You for walking with me even when I’m struggling the most. I know I can always trust You and that Your ways are perfect. Thank You for reminding me that life isn’t about what I can or can’t do. It’s about learning to lovingly trust You in every detail. Lord, for those people who are struggling just now, please help them to learn this same lesson. Let their hearts be turned to You. Let them find comfort in Your Word. I love You, Jesus. Thank You. Amen.

Answers

It’s been several days.

I’ve been seeking the Lord for direction and guidance for our family.

My prayer: “Lord let us know what Your will is.”

The answer came yesterday.

But it didn’t look like what I expected.

It wasn’t a comfortable circumstance.

Yet, our direction was clear.

As I went to bed, I thanked God for His direction, although was still a little emotionally prickled by the form.

I hadn’t realized it until this morning.

Without really thinking about the words my emotions were asking God, “Why did the answer have to come that way?”

With my first thoughts this morning He answered.

You wanted direction and I gave it.

I chose that tool to make it very clear to you and your husband.

And my response had been to be focused on my own discomfort, rather than praising God for answering.

I had to wonder.

Would my husband and I have accepted His guidance if He’d used a different circumstance?

I can say, my perspective changed in that moment.

I began to praise God for His direction and guidance.

My heart thanked Him for His Sovereignty.

I looked at my life and began to see a long series of circumstances which were uncomfortable, some very painful, and I could look back at how God’s hand of direction was in each.

Although I didn’t enjoy walking through those things, I am praising God for them.

He has used trials, pain, and all manner of life’s struggles to direct, guide, and hone me.

As difficult as those things were, I am praising God for them.

As uncomfortable as some things are, I’m praising God for them.

I don’t want to live without Him, and He said to take up my cross and follow Him.

He wasn’t walking to a picnic when He carried His cross.

I shouldn’t expect one either.

Following Christ, carrying His cross, brings so much reward.

His path broke the chains of sin and death forever!

Then He rose, and He walked a little longer with mankind on the Earth.

And now He is preparing a place for all who believe in His name, what He did, and who He is, God’s Son.

Part of that preparation is a wedding feast, the marriage of the Lamb.

Yes, I want to carry my cross and follow Him.

For the days of struggle, trials, and pain are few compared to the joy which eternity holds.

I praise God for His path for me.

And I’ll take a wedding feast over a picnic any day!

Psalm 16:11 NKJV — You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Because of the night

It was past bedtime.

At first I couldn’t understand why I was feeling anxious.

My mind seemed to be whirling while I tried to both head for bed and figure out what I needed to do before going.

Close the blinds.

Go to your room.

Put those books away.

Go to your room.

Grab that and make sure you ask…

Go to your room.

(Why didn’t I recognize the Lord’s wisdom?!)

By the time I was in my bathroom washing up I realized it.

I’m having an asthma attack.

I got my rescue inhaler and focused on breathing through the pain.

Nothing.

As I prepared to take it again, I texted my husband with my other hand.

Due to the virus, he’s been staying away from me and sleeping on the couch.

He came instantly.

My second dose hadn’t been successful.

Tears streamed down my face from the pain and I continued to work at calming my thoughts and focusing on breathing.

“Honey, take it again.”

This time it worked.

Praise God!

Because of my attack my husband decided it would be safer to stay with me all night.

I really appreciated it.

And due to the asthma attack and the steroids, I didn’t sleep well.

Today, I’m resting.

But I’m so thankful.

It’s all a picture of God’s truth.

Psalm 30:5 NKJV — For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

No matter what trials, pain, or tragedy we walk through on this Earth, there is a blessed morning awaiting those who are called by His name.

Therefore, I can look to His Word and find peace.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV — Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

Jesus has and will continue to guide each of my days when I surrender them to Him.

He is God and His Word continues to bring light, truth, and understanding.

2 Peter 1:19 NKJV — And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

I praise God for the day my soul was surrendered before Him and I accepted His salvation.

I am so thankful for His continued honing of my life to His will.

Most of all, I look eagerly toward the morning, when I will find eternity in blessed worship of my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Until then, I am living daily for Him, following His example of love, grace, and forgiveness.

In this there is peace.

The worst replay

I shall cherish this picture.

It shows our #4 in action with her teammate.

And she’s our second girl to wear the number, so it’s special.

Last night was the end.

One of our players, who won’t play again because she is a senior, walked by me last night.

All I could do was hug her.

I didn’t even speak.

I texted another player who hadn’t emerged from the locker room yet.

She’s been a close friend to our girls for 10 years and I’d adopt her in a heartbeat if there were ever need.

I plan on hugging her at tonight’s boys’ game.

She too is finished, a senior.

Another one of our senior players didn’t even play last night.

Her season was over when her shoulder was put out of socket in a different game.

My heart wanted to break as I watched them help her off the court.

It wasn’t the first time it’s happened.

She’s been to surgery for it.

My compassion as a Mom almost kept me from doing my stat job.

I’ve known that player for ten years as well.

But last night was the worst replay,

I never wanted to see.

Last year was the most painful basketball season of our lives.

Taking first one and then another of our girls to the hospital for injuries.

And unfortunately, our #4 had more time in injuries than play.

Our #32 was able to finish out the season while her sister watched from the bench.

But last year in playoffs one of our Freshmen was heading down court with the ball, she was going toward the hoop.

Then it happened.

Her leg jerked out and she crumpled to the floor while a cry of pain split the cheering atmosphere like a knife.

Dead quiet,

five individuals from separate places jumped into action.

Our player was quickly surrounded by her parents and 3 brothers.

As they carried her from the court, obviously in pain, holding one knee I prayed.

My heart cried.

Much later her Mom told me the details.

Surgery.

The morning of, I was praying.

She’s tough and her smile and her love of sports wasn’t hindered.

And the team was glad when she rejoined them.

But last night I sat in the stands, taking stats and

the same thing replayed.

She crumpled to the floor clutching her other knee.

Again her family joined her on the court and carried her off.

This time too I prayed

and cried.

My husband wisely reminded me that allowing myself to get too upset wouldn’t help them.

I was able to finish the game stats, but my heart was sad.

The team was too.

At home, in my room, praying for them all, I told the Lord how much I never want to see people hurt.

Even in this I am there.

Right.

In focusing on the pain and trials which are common in this broken sin-drenched world,

I’d forgotten two words from Scripture:

“But GOD…” (emphasis mine)

He is able.

He is faithful.

He will work in this as well.

“Lord, thank You for the times our girls got to play together. Thank you for the fact that we can stand with one another, both in prayer and love, to support and encourage. Lord, thank You for the loving family who were there when their daughter needed them. Please help this to bring them closer to each other and closer to You. Please speak to #22 and help her learn to hear Your voice. Use this time to create a personal close walk with You, Jesus. Please comfort and heal and remove anything which would stand in her way from becoming more Your daughter. For life is greater than basketball and much more important than a season. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for never leaving us nor forsaking us.”