1 Kings 19:14 - He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
For those of us who battle chronic pain or illness, sometimes, it feels like we’re the only one who's going through it. Or, when a doctor hands out a new “label” (disease), to add to the list we already have, we also feel like we’re all alone. But that just isn’t true.
According to the Center for Disease Control, on their website cdc.gov in their article, “Chronic Disease Overview,” as of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. That means: either the person sitting to your left or the one to your right has a chronic health condition and this includes chronic pain and illness.
Elijah, in the Bible verse above, also felt like he was the only one going through his trial.
He had just won a great battle for God, against the prophets of the pagan god Baal. Elijah called on God to rain down fire upon the altar he had built and to burn up the sacrifices on it. God heard Elijah’s prayer. He not only burnt up the sacrifice on the altar but also the water that was all around the altar. The prophets of Baal had not been able to convince their god to do so.
But after this big victory, a threat was made on Elijah’s life so he fled into the wilderness. It was there that Elijah told God what he thought about his ordeal. But God set the record straight. He told Elijah that he wasn’t the only one left. In fact, there weren’t just one hundred men left or even one thousand, but seven thousand were still left who hadn’t bowed their knees to Baal.
One of the things that you can do to help you not feel alone in your pain is to find a support group. Sometimes you will find listings in your local newspaper for support groups. Another way to find a support group is to select the link below. It will take you to the American Chronic Pain Association. From there you can select your state and you’ll find cities listed that have support groups.
If you can’t find one that’s close enough for you to attend, you can start a support group. Call 800-533-3231 to request information on starting a group. Many churches also offer support groups. You can find hope in your pain.
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Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.