I dedicate this post to all those who suffer but continue to smile, to love, to hope and to serve.
Maybe some of my readers are too young to know the song “Achey Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. If you have never had to suffer exposure to that song, be thankful. As for the rest of us, our ears may be scarred for life!
In my life, I have had to endure more than listening to that song; I have suffered through my own “achey breaky heart” on a number of occasions. However, it is not in reference to my heart that I am writing about today. I am writing about my achey breaky body.
Today, it is grey, damp, very windy and raw cold. Just the sort of day to which my body seriously objects. I suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and arthritis. And in case you think it is because I am some decrepit old lady, I tell you that I have battled these illnesses since I was in my late twenties and early thirties.
When I was finally diagnosed, my doctor gave me the good news, “well, at least it won’t kill you”. You can well imagine that I was close to breaking one of the ten commandments (over his head) when he told me that! Anybody who suffers from chronic pain and/or fatigue will tell you that although it may not kill you physically (although sometimes it feels like it and you wish you were dead), it can seriously affect, if not destroy, your way of life.
For me, it destroyed my career in nursing. It also took away my ability to enjoy my favourite activities such as camping, canoeing and hiking. It interfered with my ability to parent and enjoy my children (I was the one who fell asleep while reading them stories). And it seriously affected my former marriage.
I am definitely not alone in the pain department. As I write this, my wonderful hubby is bed with yet another migraine. And today, I had tea with a lady who told me her story about her years of suffering excruciating pain due to a horribly botched surgery. Pain is no respecter of persons.
I have found that being a Christian has added another challenging dimension to the pain and illness. I believe in a loving God who wants me well and has made healing available. But what happens when that healing does not readily manifest itself? In that situation, I found myself having to make a choice: I could choose to be angry with God and give up on Him completely, I could continue to strive at “getting my healing” and become frustrated and bitter, or I could let go of the struggle and trust God.
In my effort to learn and understand God’s word and ways on the subject of suffering and healing, I came across a teaching entitled, “Our Light Affliction” based on the following scripture:
2Co 4:16 For which cause we do not give way to weariness; but though our outer man is getting feebler, our inner man is made new day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our present trouble (“light affliction” in KJV), which is only for a short time, is working out for us a much greater weight of glory; (BBE)
Now before I have somebody come down on me like a ton of bricks, I am not saying that I believe that God has given me pain and sickness to teach me a lesson. If that were the case, I would want to know why there are an awful lot of wicked, evil, bad people out there who are perfectly healthy! Don’t they need to be taught? I would also want to know why, after all these years, I have not graduated from the school of pain. Am I really so dense that I need to keep repeating the lesson?
Then there are “Job’s miserable comforters” who might say that I suffer because I have some unresolved, un-repented sin in my life. I guess they don’t know the Word of God that tells us that when we have accepted Jesus as our Saviour, we are free from sin:
Rom 6:18 Then being made free from sin, you became the slaves of righteousness.
And then there are those who would say that God gives people pain and suffering so that they can become a good witness for him. REALLY?? If that is the case, put me in a “witness protection program” – please! Talk about convoluted thinking! (Joyce Meyers would call it “stinkin’ thinkin'”).
So, what do I do on those “achey breaky” days when I don’t understand why healing doesn’t come? I take my pills, curl up on the couch with a heating pad, and rest in the Lord trusting in His word that tells me that although I might be hurting today, life on this earth is only for a short time and it’s nothing compared to how unimaginably wonderful I am going to feel in my new life in God’s heavenly kingdom.
(Would somebody pass the Motrin please?)