I think one of the main reasons we fear pain is because it has the uncanny tendency to make us feel alone. It doesn’t require attention and yet it begs for understanding. Soon, it seems as though your physical ailment has now polluted much more of your being than simply your muscles and bones, and once your mind is captured the pain can be harder to fight off.
In order to get to the bottom of my migraines I’m now 1.5 months through a 3 month strict diet and taking a bazillion supplements-the healthy route. But while doing all this, I’ve found the only way I feel well enough to function is if I’m taking Excedrin or my prescription medication all day long. Which seems pretty contradictory considering I’m on the diet and taking supplements in order to not have to live on pain meds…. The physicians and ER doctors can only give me more pain meds, so my faith is being forced to grow as the discouragement swells along side of it.
C.S. Lewis has great insight into this confusing issue we know of as pain. He states, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (The Problem of Pain). Pain is God’s time of transfiguration. Though it may seem as if that’s the time when we can’t see God most clearly, it’s often the time He is cleansing our sight. Tough times are not only a time for us to seek God and His guidance, but a time for us to seek Him more and then even more. After all, if He’s the One Who has established our stories from beginning to end, it only makes sense to seek Him to gain wisdom and understanding. You have to get to know the author before you can fully understand the story. And even though it is during this time when I feel most that I am useless to Him because I can’t physically do anything, I am reminded, He is working when it feels most that He couldn’t possibly be. But He always is. He’s always working, even now.
I’ve noticed that within my worst migraines, the times when I feel the most discouraged about life and about myself, those are the times when I’ve seen just how fortunate I am through the people God has put in my life. Whether it’s my mom stroking my hair while I’m uncomfortable on the ER bed, my best friend reminding me how good it feels to laugh while she just sits next to me and watches tv, my boyfriend’s unconditional care even when I don’t have energy to shower or put on a clean shirt, and my friends’ and family friends’ multiple texts and messages of encouragement–my goodness I am blessed. And if this season of discomfort and pain is what God is using for His glory….then so be it. Because although it’s hardest to get past the present pain and even harder to get past the discouragement it causes, God’s grace covers ALL OF IT.
So for now, the only sure thing I can hold onto is His unfailing love. Because it’s unfailing, and that means He will never stop working on my behalf, to make me into who I am supposed to be, even when I might not know who that is yet.