Waking up in pain and not wanting to get out of bed. Welcome to a normal day. Many of us that suffer from chronic pain deal with this decision every day. Some days it is a physical struggle, but most it is a psychological struggle. Your body is capable of getting up, but your mind is so tired of hurting. You just want to give up. Chronic pain causes more than just physical discomfort; it causes you to act out in ways you might not normally. It is inner torture. I described it recently this way:
“Chronic pain is like torture. Like when they would put a prisoner in a bath tub and slowly drip water on their forehead to try to get them to talk. Chronic pain is like that bath tub you cannot escape from “
I pray that most reading this have not experienced that type of pain for a prolonged period. For those of us who have, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, etc. have become all too familiar.
The American Psychological Association (apa.org) says, “Pain serves an important purpose by alerting you to injuries such as a sprained ankle or burned hand. Chronic pain, however, is often more complex. People often think of pain as a purely physical sensation. However, pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors. Furthermore, chronic pain can cause feelings such as anger, hopelessness, sadness and anxiety. To treat pain effectively, you must address the physical, emotional and psychological aspects.” I agree with this! It is our responsibility to talk about all aspects with someone.
In the Bible Paul describes some type of chronic pain as a “thorn in the flesh”. Sounds pretty messed up, but here is his response.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.— 2 Cor. 12:7-9 NIV” www.biblegateway.com
I underlined and italicized a key part for us. His grace, not how I feel. His grace, not what my mind is telling me. His grace, not what others think. His grace is sufficient. It is hard to lean on Jesus in times like this, but I really think we have no choice. This is a battle in our hearts, minds and body. As we look at dealing with our chronic pain, I pray that we all see His perfect will in it. I also pray for healing, we will discuss this further as well.
Tomorrow is Sunday, go worship Him!