Pain can be so very good.
For most years of my life, I have lived with chronic pain. It has just been a normal part of life. Not a fun one, to be sure, but normal.
Simply put, without sounding horribly trite, there are lessons I have learned ...hard lessons of trust, surrender, and His unfailing love... that I can't even imagine having learned without the pain. Pain has, by-in-large, led me to God and opened my heart to Him. Pain has been a road leading me to good.
For those of you who have read these past years, you know that my pain had been increasing and intensifying. In June, I was blessed to have an operation that has brought significant health and wholeness to my body. And, that operation has ended the pain. Well,... mostly.
I am now five months post-op and, according to my doctor, I should be totally pain free... mostly healed up from surgery and moving on. The problem is... I still encounter pain most every day. Most of the time this pain is not intense--mild, in fact. I praise Him for this! And, for months I have written-it-all-off as "recovery pain". ...but, after talking to my doctor today, I am realizing that maybe, just maybe, I still have some troubled issues in my body. And, ...that indeed, while the surgery did help, it may not have completely solved the problem.
As you can imagine, this has been a bit jolting to my heart and mind today. ...more pain to come? ...more issues and problems? ...bigger ones, even? In fact, maybe it is nothing at all. It truly could be nothing of consequence. I don't know.
And, that is the key, right? I don't know. I just don't know.
As I learned so intimately from the Lord months ago, only He really sees those deep insides of my body and my heart. Only His hand can really touch and heal. And, so to Him I turn with this news. I turn to Him with this confusion and this pain.
And, I have a choice, don't I? I can rest in all He has taught me along the way... I can recall and remember. I can be still and know He is God! Or, I can worry and fret. I can be afraid and try to solve.
Today, I recall what He spoke to His people in Deuteronomy 8:
Be careful... Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
He led you through the wilderness and let you hunger to test your heart and humble you....
I choose today to remember all He has done and all that He is. I remember that I have learned that man does not live on bread alone! I remember, today, that sometimes He causes hunger... pain... to teach, to lead, to humble. And, to feed. I remember He has fed me. I remember that this pain has been for my good. It has been good pain.