Friday, January 7, 2011

The Problem With Pain

If you see any of my Facebook posts, you'll see that lately I have sounded a bit whiny with this miserable sinus infection that I have had for over a week now. I really don't mean to whine, I guess I am just one of those ridiculous *sick* people.

I went through 2010 without going to the doctor once...well, almost. On Dec.30th my hubs took me in because I was, well, miserable and insisted that I be attended to! I had been running a fever, had body aches, chills and just plain wanted to die (I told you, I'm a terrible sick person). As I sat in the exam room, Carol the nurse came in immediately and took my blood pressure...I was still alive. Then the doc came in and started asking me questions...I was sitting in a chair and was ready to pass out so he moved me to the exam table to finish checking me out. "You have a good case of the CRUD", he said...huh?!? Is that a Utah disease? I have never heard of that before...He sent me into the other room for a head x-ray (sinuses) and when I went back to my trusty exam table to wait for the results, I seriously wanted to jump out of my skin.

The overhead lights were more than I could handle so I laid there with my head under my jacket, curled up in the fetal position shivering from fever. I was M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E...I mentioned this several times to Brad who just sweetly said, "you're not going to die, you'll be fine!"

I started to think about my sweet daddy who has suffered for almost 30 years with bad health. I thought of the times when I have seen him in the hospital writhing in pain but keeping his cute sense of humor and keeping the nurses giggling. I thought of people I have know who have struggled with horrible chronic ailments like cancer and who have endured torturous chemo/radiation treatments and have still managed to smile through it all. And then my mind wandered to the Savior and what He suffered and endured in Gethsemane...on my behalf...for  my sins.

I can't even begin to imagine the magnitude of what He went through in that garden. How the sins and pains of the world were thrust to Him and how He sweat blood from every pore throughout the entire ordeal. I will never be able to fully comprehend the depth of pain and agony He experienced that night. It's impossible, because I am so human.

A few days ago I came across a beautiful blog written by an amazing young woman named Edie. A few days before Christmas she lost her house to fire...please read her story, it will change you! I have taken the liberty of posting something that a friend of hers posted after the fire by C.S. Lewis (he's a favorite of mine)...It has inspired and lifted me unmeasurably.

From C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain–chapter 6

“The human spirit will not even begin to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked , unmistakable evil, every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt…..And the pain is not only recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We rest contentedly in our sins and stupidities…..and can even ignore our pleasures, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of pain threatens serious disease, or a tragedy that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ.

And perhaps by God’s grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources.

But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys; I am even anxious, God forgive me, to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me under the threat because it is now associated with the misery of those few days. Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me but for forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe that sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over—I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness, if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the nearest flower bed.

And that is why tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless. ”

In a weird way, I am thankful for the "suffering" I had to endure on Dec. 30th (in a doctor's office, receiving help and medication...) It has served as a reminder of how incredibly blessed I am and thankful for all of the beauty that has come my way. I guess pain is important after all. It's learning how to still rejoice in it and remember our blessings that really creates the balm of healing, ultimately through our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so blessed!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Beautiful post Mary. So very well written. It certainly gives me a lot to think about. Hope you get better soon!