Today’s post is dedicated to all of you who, like me, endure chronic illness on a daily basis…
This is how I should look because of how I normally feel
This is how I really look (Mother’s Day 2012)
Counsel is mine; and sound wisdom; I am understanding; I have strength. —Proverbs 8:14
God is Love, God is Light, God is to us a thousand things for which we long and which we need, but have we realized that in possessing Him and abiding in Him, He is “UNDERSTANDING” and all that seems dark and difficult will become clear to us as we depend on Him, who is “UNDERSTANDING”? It would take ten thousand years to learn a few of the many things we long to know on earth. The soul that is linked to God begins to understand and will go on to clearer understanding throughout the countless ages.
[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. I wait for You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God. —Psalm 39:9-11, 15
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5-6
Has anyone ever questioned the validity of your illness or avoided you because of it? Perhaps they have wondered out loud how you can look so good when you tell them how rotten you feel.
I’m willing to guess that all of us who suffer with chronic illness and pain have experienced these times. Most symptoms of chronic illness seem to be more internal than external. When we try to explain our pain level to others, they just don’t get it because they can’t see any apparent outward symptoms.
This used to greatly frustrate me until the day one of my former neighbors revealed to me that she had Fibromyalgia (FMS) too. She always looked great to me and seemed to have so much energy. I couldn’t believe she and I had this in common.
And then I realized a horrible truth about myself: what I was thinking about my neighbor was exactly what frustrates me when others think these kinds of things about me! It made me finally understand the confusion and impatience others have with me at times.
Talk about a light bulb moment!
When someone tells us they understand our pain because they are going through something similar, we feel like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders. This is the way God feels about us and our pain—He knows all about it, understands our frustrations about it and longs to carry us through it.
In the Psalm 39 passage above, David sounds weary with his situation, yet he also expresses his certainty that God is at his side and will answer his prayers. We can also be assured that God is in our corner when others are not. He is always there for us. All we need to do is look to Him for His quiet understanding and limitless love.
My prayer for all of us: Heavenly Father, sometimes we get frustrated when people don’t understand what we’re going through. But You know, and show us in so many ways how much You care about us and our situations. Help us to never lose sight of that fact, and to always look to You first for comfort and understanding. Amen.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. —Psalm 147:5
In the sick room, 10 cents worth of human understanding equals 10 dollars worth of medical science. —Martin H. Fischer