P.A.I.N.

Courtesy of Microsoft Office Online

Pain.

Pitiless. Autocrat. Inconvenient. Nemesis…”

These were my thoughts one morning as I sat hunched, my body held hostage by the pain of an ongoing illness.

Having been led (sometimes dragged) light years beyond the debilitating point of view, “Why this? Why me?” I slid my Bible down onto my knees and opened it. Expecting relief on some level at least, I turned to the Psalms I’d been working through and struggled to focus. “Psalm 34…” I picked up my journal and pen.

But I didn’t even make it past the first verse: “I will extol the LORD at all times…” My pen hovered. Stalled.

Now, I well know there is always a bounty of things for which to praise God. I have made the delightful discovery too many times to doubt it. Even at that moment, in the grip of affliction, I held a vast praise inventory in my mind and heart. This was by no means a new truth for me. It also wasn’t a “theological course correction,” or even a “timely attitude adjustment.”

It was just…God; speaking, with no room for misunderstanding that this was His Word for me that day, that moment.

So I sat.

For a long time.

And I listened as once again God led me through the jarring dichotomy of what Scripture says and what our life experience sometimes looks like. Reconciling the “unseen” with the “seen,” the “need” with the “answer.” This type of terrain seems to be one of my “things,”  the spiritual “territory” assigned to me, so to speak.

I wonder if it’s yours, too.

In his book Treasury of David, C.H. Spurgeon said, “Our reliance on God in adversity is a principle method of glorifying Him.” Well then, if leaning on Him is all He’s asking of me today, that I can do. Indeed, it’s all I can manage just now amidst…

Pain.

Praise Always Imparts New hope

“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” (Emphasis mine) Rely, rest, and praise Me! This is God’s call for us, and it is His answer for our need today.

In what difficult situation is God calling you to praise Him? How has it helped you in the midst of your struggle?

Will you share your journey with us?

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Comments 7

  1. I know that feeling in the midst of pain of desiring to process and grasp for hope and then stall out. And then God brings that unmistakable, simple but deep message for me to ponder and take into my heart. I need it simple in those moments.

    I love the Scripture focus God gave you and love that you shared with us. The way you began with one acronym and end with a different one helped me consider my viewpoint of pain (particularly the current one!). I need to ask where else do I need to make the full shift toward that easy-to-remember prompt, Pain Always Imparts New hope.

    Thanks, Bethany!

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words. 🙂 I pray that you are experiencing the miracle of praise amidst your painful situation. “Viewpoint” weighs in as a very heavy hitter, and God knows it! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Jackie. 🙂 It’s funny, before I wrote this post, I had just been talking with my son about pain (re: struggle, etc.,) being the doorway to growth and new life. Apparently I am not the only one who “teaches in layers!”

  3. Yes! I’m so glad you are writing about this season of your life. I’ve so much to glean from you regarding pain. And I love the Pain Always Imparts New Hope.

    1. Thanks, Karen. I certainly hope you gained some insight for your own life. After all, that’s what it’s all about–learning, sharing, and praising God together. 🙂

  4. Beautiful, heart felt lesson of Praising in all circumstances. P.A.I N. I will remember this one. Blessings Jackie

    1. Thanks, Jackie. I hope you were encouraged in some way. 🙂

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