Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pain and Gratefulness

After 8 weeks of excruciating back pain, my doctor gave up. I had x-rays and an MRI that showed nothing unusual. I had prayed for healing and my church family had even laid hands on me. My doctor was referring me to something called “pain management”.  And when I asked what they would do, he said they might give me injections to reduce swelling, give me a “nerve block” or maybe even kill some nerves. Unfortunately, their next available appointment wasn’t for 5 more weeks. Also, I was going to physical therapy twice a week where I got some relief.

The day the doctor gave up, I was dejected and desperate. Again I prayed for relief but this time I looked up bible verses about God and healing. Specifically:

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

Psalm 103:2-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Jeremiah 30:17
‘For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”’

And especially,
Psalm 30:2
O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.

That last one I repeated over and over all day.

That same day I read something from Kirk Weisler. If you don’t know him, you should look him up at, he is a VERY wise and authentic man. He said:

When or if we let one of the toxic or unhappy 7 billion (people in the world) ruin our day by distracting us from all that we have to be grateful for …then we simultaneously may be allowing ourselves to be blocked from experiencing the transcendent moments that are latent in each and every day.   I know that when I am distracted by frustration over real or perceived injustice… my mind can begin racing with “what is needed to make it right” or “what I should have said”…or what “I would like to have said”… and I can get all worked up and YUCK!  

On the other hand … with discipline and deliberateness we can learn to quickly “let things go”…or better yet “never pick things up that can hurt us”… instead focus our thoughts and our energies on being our best…doing our best and being grateful for the peace that accompanies such thinking.  It is in those moments of peace and gratitude that creative and constructive juices flow…and exciting encounters with everyday epiphanies occur.

So, I decided that I am still very blessed and I was going to be thankful for all of the things going right in my life. I even wrote “Thankfulness” on an index card and put it right in front of my computer keyboard to remind me throughout the day to be thankful. I got down to some pretty basic things like I am grateful for the electricity that runs the furnace that heats the water for my shower and I am grateful for the use of all my fingers so that I can work on a computer and tie my shoes.

That evening I had a physical therapy appointment. I told the therapist what the doctor said and she said that she was going to give me more exercises to do and spend more time and effort working on my back (since my scans showed nothing wrong). When I walked in I was not moving well and when I left, I wasn’t much better. However, I woke up the next morning in significantly less pain and my back pain is lessening noticeably each day since. In fact, I am only taking Advil for my pain at this point. I thank God for hearing my cries and giving me relief. God has been faithful to me and so I am being faithful to him by giving him praise and spreading the news of his goodness for all to see.