I have not been able to sleep soundly in days. I have a cold sore inside of my mouth that makes it hard to talk, eat, drink, smile, or frown. Worst of all, it is painful when I kiss my wife. For a guy who loves to kiss his wife and who uses his mouth to preach God’s Word this is not fun.
Pain is not fun, especially for a guy like me who does not get sick that often. Pain has induced complaining from me. Pain, though it can cause a lot of inward-focus, is also a great way for a self-centered person, like me, to stop looking at myself and look to God. I have experienced enough pain in my life and read my Bible enough so that I try not to naively get mad at God and declare, “Why are You doing this to me?,” as though every bad thing in life is God’s fault. Instead, I try to remember that this current discomfort has placed me in the position to ask the Lord, “What would you like to gain in my heart through this experience of sickness?”
Through this heart-style, it is my hope and expectation to see the Lord redeem this not-fun-at-all situation for my greater good and His eternal glory. What that will look like, I do not know and I realize that I may not even “feel” what it is that the Lord gained in my heart after the illness has passed, but I do have faith in my Redeemer and have decided to place my life and heart in His perfect hands whether in sickness or in health.
I have been helped in keeping this eternal perspective through my recent listening to the audio book version of A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada and by the current sermon series on the book of Job at Grandview Christian Assembly; in particular the sermon entitled “Pain“.