I live in pain on a daily basis. It can be a harsh taskmaster. In the morning I wake up to it, during the day I cope with it, and at night I toss and turn fitfully because of it.
My life has changed dramatically since being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, as well as arthritis and a few other things not worth mentioning. In the last sixteen years Iíve gone from a fairly active woman to one that paces her activities meticulously so as not to go into a flare.
I canít sit for long periods of time, and I canít stand for long periods of time. Migraines come on a consistently regular basis, sometimes two or three times a week.
My heating pad is my best friend.
My condition allows me the time to read and reflect on Godís Word in the morning without the frantic need to finish up so that I can be ready for work on time.
I can enjoy the luxury of sitting down with a cup of coffee and visiting with old friends.
It let me stay home when my children were growing up, enabling them to avoid a latchkey existence.
It gave me the ability to be at my motherís bedside twenty-four hours a day when she was in ICU for three months before she died.
It has given me the freedom to live in the moment, to work toward a goal unhampered by thoughts or concerns about whatís over the horizon.
It has taught me to trust in a Fatherís gracious, sustaining hand.
My pain is a part of me, but it doesnít define me or my life. It does help me choose the important things to focus on, and the rest I let go.
Sometimes Godís better gifts come to us packaged in grief, despair, or illness. Theyíre not pretty, and our first instinct is to recoil and question His motivation. But our God is not a capricious God; His acts are neither impulsive nor cruel. He doesnít drop them at our feet and turn away.
Heís there at our side through it all, encouraging us to look beyond the outer wrapping to discover the hidden treasure within.
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