Reading for the week:
Jan 27 Ex 28-29
Jan 28 Ex 30-32
Jan 29 Ex 33-35
Jan 30 Ex 36-38
Jan 31 Ex 39-40
Feb 1 Lev 1-4
Feb 2 Lev 5-7
Pain has been a pretty big part of my life lately.
It occurs to me that pain is a pretty big part of all of our lives.
It might not be physical, as it is for me. It might be emotional. It might be spiritual.
But it's there.
It's there in losses of all kinds - from the loss of pets to the loss of spouses to the loss of children through the loss of something as simple as a possession that meant the world to you - and it hurts to lose the concrete evidence of something that was emotionally important. Or my grief over soemthing like the loss of quail wandering through my patio.
But what I am realizing, in new and deeper ways, is that God knows when those times are coming. Sometimes we are blind-sided.
God never is.
He knows when the pain He has allowed into our lives will begin - to the millisecond. And He knows when it will end - to the millisecond. He also knows what He wants to accomplish by allowing it.
I know that my pain has changed me.
And it has also changed those around me. It has created changes in the way they look at life.
He has promised that all things will work together for my good (Yup, Romans 8:28 again) I know it has taught me that He can be trusted, that He will never leave me, that when I am weak He is strong. I know that He knows - and He is able. He is able to handle anything I need for Him to handle, and He knows how to do it in the best way. And it certainly has kept my eyes on Him. Sometimes I think that my heart is so untrustworthy that without the pain I would be wrapped up in my own ways, my own doings, and wander far from Him.
And yes, it narrows my field of view. I can't do things others can. And I must let others help me, even when it just kills me to see people doing stuff I should be doing.
But I don't have the energy to spend on regrets or "if onlys". All I have is enough to get thru most days, and on the others, He carries me. He gives me "close by" parking spaces. He gives me docs that understand if I have to cancel. He gives me family that cares.
And He gives me Himself - in ways I would never have known if I wasn't disabled or in pain.
I'm not saying I wouldn't like to be able bodied again - to be able to hike - or take a walk - or travel, or even do housework! And if it were part of His plan for me, I could.
I know He is with me. I know He is teaching me - even if at this moment I can't imagine what it is!
And I am content.
The pain was fierce today
Worse than the pain
Is the fear it carries in its hip pocket,
Wondering when it will end
Or if it will end
Wondering if it will,
Kill you -
And, when it gets bad enough,
Hoping it will.
How long, O Lord,
It is finding the unendurable
Sets one apart.
It can't be shared,
Can't even be described -
No words can convey
The brutal assault on nerve endings
That mass together
And finally overwhelm.
At those times
When I am most alone
Lost deep within my prison walls -
He comes to sit beside me -
This One Who is no stranger to pain
Or what it can do to the human body -
And He carries it with me