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The Emotional Strain of Chronic Pain
9/8/2015 12:00:01 AM by: Barb

As I sit here writing a set of devotions on The Emotional Strain of Chronic Pain, I’m listening to piano music. Chopin.

One particular song brought back tender memories. Greg used to rest on the sofa while I played it for him. Special times. Times that are to be no more.

I miss Greg so much. I miss sharing my life with him. I miss his touch. And I miss praying with Him.

But I am definitely not alone. God is with me. I feel His presence at all times. We write together. I ask Him what He wants to say. We talk and laugh together. He gives me ideas and constantly reminds me of things and helps me find things. Sounds crazy, but it’s real.

Anyway . . . I was writing about change when the familiar piano song came on and I thought you might be blessed by the miracle I was writing about. God did this for me back in 1996 just before I headed into a huge surgery.

* * *

Early in the morning, the anesthetist came to discuss my surgery. After I signed the necessary paperwork, he prepared to take me to the operating room. Startled, I argued that I was not scheduled until ten o’clock.

“You weren’t notified that your surgery time was changed?”

I shook my head.

“The surgery unit decided that since you will be having several operations done at the same time, they should schedule you first. They prepared the operating room last night. I’m sorry you weren’t told, but we cannot change the schedule at this point.”

No one was with me. My family hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. Nevertheless, after a phone call to my husband, the orderlies wheeled me to surgery.

Waiting in the surgical unit, I overheard my doctor scolding the staff. “Now there’s no one here for her,” he argued.

But I was doing fine. Fine, that is, until a nurse wheeled the bed ahead of me into an operating room. I realized I was next, and I panicked. Just as suddenly, though, I felt the presence of God and sensed Him saying, “Don’t worry. I will not leave you nor forsake you. I am right here on this table with you. I am inside of you.” A warm flowing sensation started at my head and crept down my body to my feet, literally bathing me in peace.

Deep in my heart, though, I longed for someone to hold my hand.
God heard my plea. Earlier, when my doctor was discussing the mix-up, a friend of mine—another doctor—stood nearby and overheard the conversation. He told me later that when he heard my name, he thought, “I know her. I can be here for her.”

My eyes were shut, so I didn’t see him coming. But at the exact moment that I cried out to God in my heart, wishing for someone to hold my hand, this friend took my hand from under the blankets and whispered, “I’m here for you, Barb. I’ll be praying.”

I was never alone. God was there, just as He promised, ready to meet my needs—even before I asked.

* * *

Change. Hard to accept. We have to adjust. Face tough challenges. Give up comfortable routines.

We can press on in God’s strength or allow debilitating chains of bitterness and anger defeat us and steal our joy and peace.

Perhaps we, like the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land, become stuck in our distorted memories of how good life used to be. Or perhaps we don’t really trust God to protect and guide us into new territory, despite His promise never to leave us nor forsake us. Too many giants ahead. So we refuse and lose out on God’s greatest blessings.

Or we move forward, trusting God’s promise in Isaiah 42 to “lead the blind by ways they have not known.” He continues, “I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

God still works miracles today. In what areas of your life do you need God’s touch? He is only a prayer away, and He promises in James 4:8 that as you come near to Him, He will come near to you.

“These are the things I will do.” I love that part. He doesn’t say these are the things He’s able to do or that He wants to do. No. These are the things He will do.

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