Through living with pain
You might know by now that I have been living with constant pain and been on crutches for 4 months. There is one question that I have been asked hundred times at least when people see me on crutches which is: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? So let me start with answering this question first.
Well, I have done nothing except started running a bit last summer. I have always had knee problems but never really dealt with them or noticed them much till I started to do running and running became one of my favourite activities. Until my knee became painful that I couldn’t walk on it anymore. This was back in September. I visited the doctor then who advised me to rest it and not to do any more exercise for a while. The knee pain subsided and eventually went away, not completely but nearly. I didn’t run for months but I started doing some light running back in March and after a few short, gentle runs I couldn’t walk anymore at all and I was in loads of pain.
Since then, I have seen a knee specialist, many physiotherapists and doctors and have had various diagnosis. One of the physiotherapists said that I was born with a bad hip that ruined my knee and my feet, one said that I had patella chondromalacia, one said that my tendon is injured and tendon injuries take longer to heal than fractures, a couple of them said it was wear and tear that normally older people suffer with etc… After months of pain, they finally sent me to an MRI, this didn’t show any internal damage so they sent me back to physio. I was given crutches by the hospital months ago and I have been on crutches and in constant pain for 4 months now.
So how have I dealt with the suffering?
Initially, I was very strong and I got on with everything although it was hard not being able to work. My job was incredibly supportive and decided to pay me a full-time salary instead of asking me to go off sick, these few months are my last few months working for the church so it was helpful for them if I could work from home and it also lifted off a weight off our shoulders as we are saving money for our world trip.
People have prayed for my knee various times and I felt that my knee was better multiple occasions. I felt that God has healed me like He has done before at other times only to be disappointed that my knee was as painful as before the next day. I didn’t have much energy but I knew that God was still with me. Even though I wasn’t healed every time people prayed for my knee, I felt a transcending peace that can only come from Jesus.
I also know that we should be encouraged to have real honest conversations with God and share our anger and frustration just like many other people did in the Bible. There were times when I shouted at God and was angry for not being healed and was often in tears even when I was socialising. I couldn’t be myself, I felt like a burden but I have also learnt so many life lessons.
What have I learnt?
I have become a bit more patient and have started listening to other people’s problems a bit more. I understand people who live with constant pain more. Without God and his peace and my faith in Him in spite of the pain, I would be in a lot worse place and would have given up and not tried to push through as much as I have and still try to. Most of my friends and the body of Christ (the church) have been supportive, have prayed with me, cried with me and encouraged me. This is what the church’s role is in a suffering world, to be a refuge to those suffering.
I have been healed by God before, therefore I have struggled with why He wouldn’t just heal me when He is the Almighty Doctor. Though, Jesus is who keeps me going even if I shout at him and angry at him, I know that He hears me and He is with me and He gives me courage to keep going. We often don’t understand why suffering happens and why people need to go through horrible situations, yet we can have assurance that Jesus has taken all our suffering and all our pain on Himself. He is a loving God, therefore He has given a choice to humanity to love Him and to follow Him and didn’t want us to be robots, He created a perfect world but some of us have rebelled and chosen to live our own way. God has entrusted us with a beautiful planet which we are slowly destroying so we shouldn’t be surprised that this choice included pain and suffering as well.
I recently saw Wonderwoman in the cinema which demonstrates some further points about suffering and evil. We all have a potential to be good and to be bad but we all need the Light to save us and there is only one light that can destroy the darkness, the devil and pain within us at the end. “Only love and faith can do this.” Just like in most superhero movies there is someone who must sacrifice herself/himself in order to save humanity we also need a Saviour to break the darkness that lies within each one of us.
Although suffering is not good, God has used it to accomplish good many times before certainly in my life. However, there are things that we might not understand fully and life is going to be hard and challenging until that one day that we can look forward to, when evil will be overcome by good and from that day, there will be no more pain but only joy and peace. I don’t know about you but I cannot wait for that day.
Through suffering, you hear many stories that many people either turn away from God or turn to Him. Through our pain, we can turn to Him for peace and courage or we can turn bitter and reject Him. We can become more loving, more gentle, more patient, more humble or we can become more angry, resentful, hard and sullen. I have felt all these emotions in the past 4 months but God’s light has overcome the anger and the frustration. But I still need His grace and His peace and courage every day.
God’s ultimate answer to suffering isn’t an explanation but incarnation. We need to respond to suffering individually. God is not some distant God who doesn’t care about how we feel, but He entered into our world and personally experienced our pain. Jesus was broken, rejected, despised and he cried like we cry. When we suffer, He feels our pain and He hears us.
I was just listening to a song by Rend Collective that was written right after the Manchester attack, it very much summarises what I have been talking about in this blog and how I feel.
Lord will You weep with me
I don’t need answers all I need is to know that You care for me,
Hear my plea
Are you even listening?
Lord I will wrestle with Your heart, but I won’t let You go
You know I believe
Help my unbelief
Yet I will praise You
yet I will sing of Your name
Here in the shadows, I’ll lift up an offering of praise
What was true in the light is still true in the dark,
You’re good and You’re kind and You care for this heart
Lord I believe you weep with me
Part the seas
Lord make a way for me
Here in the midst of my lament I have faith yes I still believe
You love me
Your plans are to prosper me
You’re working everything for good even when I can’t see
You know I believe
Help my unbelief