God allows things to come into our lives for a reason — and often that reason is so that we may, in some way, be a comfort to others.
These are just some ideas and some things that I have found to be helpful whether it’s physical pain, or emotional pain, or really any kind of painful situation. God made each one of us differently, so what is helpful to me may not be helpful to you — but perhaps one or two of these ideas will be an encouragement — and I know for sure that anything related to the Bible will be helpful to anyone and everyone, because the Word of God never returns void — it always accomplishes a good work when put to use in any one’s life.
God has been so gracious and so good to me. Yes, every day and every night I have pain in my body that never goes away. It hurts to walk, it hurts to talk, it hurts to lay down to sleep, it hurts to fix my hair, it hurts to get dressed, it hurts to drive… it just hurts all the time, and it’s not going to go away, unless God chooses to take it away, and that’s His business. But whether or not He ever takes it away, as a wife and mother and Christian, I still need to be involved and maintain a happy spirit for those around me. By no means do I need sympathy — prayer, yes! Sympathy, no.
It is very important to focus on the goodness of God — every day — but especially when you are in constant pain or prolonged discouraging circumstances. Pain is powerful and distracting. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing that can make it better. These are the times that we need to realize that God is with us and He is truly all we need. There are times when all you can do to deal with the pain is to focus on God. That’s not a hyper-spiritual-make-ya-feel-good catch-phrase…it’s the truth.
How do I focus on God? I have a certain place where I sit, and a certain Bible that I use and a notebook beside that Bible. Again, this is just a testimony — I’m not giving advice — what works for me might be different than what works for you — but these are the things that have helped me live with chronic pain for many, many years.
First and foremost, above all else….get to know God. Get to know Him intimately. God is truly the only safe one, the only safe place to pour out your heart, without fear of rejection or consequence. Developing a close relationship with someone only comes by spending time with them. No shortcuts there! If you want to know God better, spend time with Him! You may not notice it right away, but if you continue to meet Him every day, at the same time, in the same place if possible, you will discover a closeness that is unexplainable, sustainable, and unmatched by any human relationship.
For many years, I spent time with God in the early morning hours. Eventually my health declined to where I was not able to get up in the mornings any longer. I now meet with Him as soon as I am physically able, usually by 10am. It took a few months to feel comfortable in a new place, a new time and a new way to spend time with my God. But for me personally, spending time with God is not just a sweet little daily ritual — it’s survival, plain and simple. I am the kind of person that can get off track easily and distracted by circumstances if I don’t get my time with God. It’s a necessity and it means the difference in every day between success or failure, joy or discouragement.
[When thou saidst], Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Psalm 27:8
Glenys Hicks lives in Australia where she is a married mother/stepmother of six adult children and twelve grandchildren. She loves to encourage Christian women in their walk as wives, mothers, and homemakers. As a chronically ill woman, she has particular empathy for the struggles of others.