Just a month ago I was engrossed in Philip Yancey’s famous book “Where is God when it hurts”.
I completely agreed with all aspects of the author’s reasoning. Some of the things that I learned from the book were:
- Where is God when it hurts?- He is with me and he hurts with me.
- Pain is a blessing and is one of the masterpieces of God’s creation.
- Without pain we would be hurting ourselves.
- God sometimes allows pain.
- Painful experiences make us better people.
- There are still many instances where we cannot understand it with our human thinking.
I did not realise then that everything looks different when YOU are the one in pain.
It was just a toothache caused by a wisdom tooth extraction.
Just a tiny part of the body injured and trying to heal itself.
It affected every part of my life.
The children got to know that Mama could be very snappy and that they would have to do their homework and get dressed themselves.
A friend saw the inconsiderate side of me.
A colleague was victim to hurt feeling because of words spoken thoughtlessly.
A student realised that Ma’m could be very rude on the phone.
My patience was at an all time low.
All attempts at kindness were temporarily ceased.
The house was an utter mess, because I could not see anything beyond myself.
I could think of only my pain.
I could think of only myself.
Most of my conversations were about my pain.
I smiled less, frowned more.
I worried about my nutrition, even though I usually was on a diet.
I sought attention when I didn’t need it, and when I got it, I was resentful.
It would have helped if I had only realised that it would be gone in a few days, though it took longer to heal than expected.
It would have been wise to remember that the painkillers which I was taking every 5 hours would not be needed forever.
And through it all I learned.
I learned that pain is very VERY real.
I learned not to judge people with chronic pain. I realised it was cruel to label them psychosomatic and to expect them to be cheerful.
I learned that you should never ever say “It is just a toothache.”
I understood what the books meant when they described pain.
I learned to appreciate it when people in pain still remain cheerful despite it all.
So Dr. Philip Yancey, you were right.
- God was with me, in my pain.
- I empathise better for the painful experience.
- I still don’t understand why I had to go through it, but God does.
Dear Lord, I pray for all the people who are in pain. I pray that you be with them holding their hand throughout this day. I pray that especially at times when the pain gets intense and seems to overwhelm them, that you send people who understand them and help them to get through the phase. Help the doctors and the nurses to be understanding of their pain, help them not to belittle it. I pray that you speak to them words of reassuring love. And Lord I pray that whenever you choose to take away their pain, whenever that may be, that they rejoice in you. Amen.
Picture credit: fineartamerica.com