Sermons & Scripture

Beautiful Pain

Yes this is my spine…

So, I’ve now spent 2 ½ weeks off work at home (and 5 weeks before that in pain) with a prolapsed disk in my back. That’s the MRI of it up there, Mount Fuji the consultant called it, except I’m sure Mt Fuji is infinitely more beautiful than that mess. I’m now awaiting surgery, although I wanted to see if it would begin to heal on its own, so he gave me 2 weeks to see if it would improve, or as I see it, 2 weeks for God to perform a miracle.

If you’ve seen my last few posts you’ll know I wasn’t handling the pain well. There may have been some swearing. But in that first week I realised I had a choice, to give in to the pain or to seek God. I chose God. I mean it’s a no brainer. Jesus suffered the most pain ever, so he knows, right?

In prayer last week I felt the words ‘allow God to make the pain beautiful’. To someone with chronic long term pain I can imagine that might sound insensitive or even impossible and I’m not yet entirely sure what it means for me, but I have been trying to seek God each day. Whatever state I’m in. Sometimes that means bring curled in a ball, sobbing, simply able to utter the name of Jesus. Other days I’ve been able to pour over the bible and really get stuck into God’s word. And I’ve been reading Job (as you do).

The thing I’ve learned from Job is not to turn my back on God. He moaned, 7:7 ‘My eyes will never see happiness again’ – and oh yes, have I moaned. I have written countless posts and scrapped them as I tried to figure things out in my head. I made a mental list of al the things I was missing out on: Big church day out, Pentecost, having fun with the kids, preaching, seeing friends, running, heck just walking would be nice.

Job got annoyed with his friends, 16:2 – ‘miserable comforters are you all!’ – well my husband has had that pleasure, sorry hon.

Job tries to work out why? 7:20 ‘why have you made me your target?’ -well I’ve done a bit of that too and he feels abandoned and alone, 19:7 – yep felt that too.

But in it all, Job doesn’t reject God, he is still talking to him, questioning him, and in fact his very first response is to fall on the ground and worship, 1:20. Wish I could say mine was the same…

But you know what, God is in this for me too. It’s taken me a few weeks to suss that out. I’ve been seeking him, I’ve been praying reading my bible, reading Christian books, but I guess I’ve just felt a little bit too sorry for myself.

Camp on the floor, with all things necessary within reach. Now if I could just drink tea down here...
My camp on the floor, with all things necessary within reach. Now if I could just drink tea down here…

This week though, this week I’ve turned a corner. Not in any recovery sense, in fact if anything it’s getting worse, I am largely consigned to the floor, but I just know God is with me.

In a funny way it’s a bit like being on retreat, in that life outside of this bubble of infirmity, is on hold, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So inside the bubble it’s all my choice, or God’s if I let him. I can’t plan ahead, I can’t focus – if this post even makes any sense we’ll be on to a winner, but the one constant in the bubble and out, is God and for that I am immensely, pathetically grateful.

So, if you are a praying type, please do, as it’s looks like surgery will be within the next few weeks and I’d love to go back to the consultant and tell him all pain has miraculously gone! But if I’m not healed, that’s ok too, because so long as God is with me, I’m ok.

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  • Reply
    Pam Smith
    May 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Gentle (((((hug)))))

    I know that feeling of wanting to go back to the consultant with a miraculous healing – unfortunately God chose to heal my gall bladder problems through the gifts of the medical staff who took it out and cared for me after the op.

    However he chooses to heal you, ‘All shall be well …’

  • Reply
    May 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks Pam. I know, God uses medical stuff too, you are right and indeed I do feel peaceful about it all so all shall indeed be well (funny I’m just reading Julian of Norwich!) x

    • Reply
      Pam Smith
      May 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I was sent for an MRI scan to check if there were any gallstones in my bile duct before my op was scheduled. I was very disappointed when the consultant said there weren’t any so I could go on the waiting list – I’d been hoping he would say ‘Amazingly, the scan showed there are no gallstones at all!’. 😀 But he didn’t. What he did manage to do was put my fears at rest about something going wrong with the operation, which had been put into my mind by a radiologist who’d said taking out a gall bladder in such a bad state could be ‘A disaster!’

      However it’s done, I hope your pain is resolved soon. I sometimes think the exhortation to be thankful in all circumstances demands a ‘Thanks a LOT, God!’ delivered with heavy sarcasm 😀 But you seem to be managing to do it without the sarcasm! [‘]

  • Reply
    Nicky Harvey
    May 28, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Jules pain can be beautiful. Having had knee pain since 19 and 10 ops!! Last op was the big one and I had no idea how blessed I would be by that. Yes you can go stir crazy or as you say allow God to make the pain beautiful. I don’t know how to add the photos!! Tes I had my leg broken and reset back in position with screws etc. I was rendered useless for 6 weeks. 2 weeks I lived on the sofa with the family throwing the duvet over me when they went to bed! But it was in these weeks that I truly found God and an inner peace and acceptence that I hadn’t known before. I felt God had had to bring me up short to re-focus my life. It was like going on retreat. Shant expand anymore here but wish I could show the pictures. For me pain became beautiful. God bless.

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