Job 9:25 - My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
They say that the older we get the faster time flies.
I’ve had days like that. Sometimes months like that when I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with my hectic life that one day blurs into another.
The story is a bit different for those suffering from chronic pain or a debilitating disease. Everything we do. Everywhere we go. Our pain follows us.
We try to get involved in something; to fill up the time so that we can get through the day as quickly as possible, with hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
But sometimes things don’t get better. They get worse.
It is times like these, when our pain is high, that each moment drags its heels and makes you believe this day will never end.
Yet, maybe it’s those pain-filled days that make us stronger. I know that may not be what you want to hear, but it’s true none the less. And not only do they make us stronger they can help us appreciate things more.
We don’t have a huge deadline looming before us, so we can focus on enjoying the card that someone took the time to write us and not just toss it in the trash. Those in pain save their cards so they can be reminded of the thoughtfulness of others.
And when someone comes knocking on our door, with tears in their eyes from learning some bad health news, we can be a listening ear and answer questions they may have about what they’re facing.
You can become stronger, not weaker because of the path your pain is taking you on.
When the weaker have time stretched out before them, in an unending battle of our wills to keep fighting and not give up, we can remember the ones who are stuck in their cubicles at work. Their days are flying by with hardly a chance to do what they want to do, and they think we’re lucky because we have the time to enjoy a good book or take a short walk.
So, in weakness we can be strong.
In pain we can feel relief.
In sorrow we can find joy.
In days when time seems to drag its heels, we can have time to appreciate our ups and downs, our ins our outs.
No one promised us that living with pain or illness was easy, but we can choose to make the best of what we do have. What we can do is remember those who are on the verge of giving up on life. Maybe they’re the ones in their cubicles at work or maybe they’re the ones waiting for results from another test at the doctor’s office.
We can be the voice of encouragement to a world flying by. And to help you do that read the article, "How to Understand Someone With Chronic pain," on wikihow.com so you can be supportive to those in pain and see that the ideas may also be applied to other relationship issues.
While you watch other people’s lives fly by, it might seem like life is at a standstill when you’re in pain or ill, know that God cares about you and will help you make it through today and always.
Revelation 2:19 - I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
When suffering with chronic pain or an illness, it’s easy to quit. Throw in the towel and just give up on even the things we love, or having hope of ever being able to do them again.
But life, with all of its twists and turns, can lead you toward fulfilling your dreams if you persevere and don’t give up.
What it takes is finding your passion. Find something that when you do it, it takes your total focus.
I found mine in writing. When I write, I can be anyone I want to be. There’s no one standing over me telling me what I’m writing is only for me and will not help anyone else. It’s at that point that I must make a decision – do what I love no matter what others think of me or what I’m doing.
So here I am, typing this message from me to you. There may be a lot of things that you cannot do anymore because of your suffering. But there are so many other things that you can do.
At first, you may find yourself falling down. But don’t let that hold you back. Get back up again and try once more. With perseverance you will not only find that dream to move you forward, but the ability to complete it.
Find some tips from essentiallifeskills.net on developing persistence in their article, “The Power of Persistence,” such as preparing for obstacles and setbacks by anticipating potential problems and making a plan to overcome them.
Like the Bible verse above says, when you persevere and take one more step each day you will find yourself doing more than you were able to do when you first started. So keep going with passion and reach for your dreams.
Luke 18:27 - Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
A task lays before you. It seems as if there is no way that it can be done. Your chronic pain or illness makes it seem that way.
After all, how can anyone expect you, in the condition you’re in, to complete it?
It looms in front of you cutting off all light upon your world. You try to move to the left and then the right to go around the impossible, but you can’t seem to be able to move that way. Your neck or back was fused during surgery on a disk, making it impossible.
It looms in front of you. You try to climb over the top of the impossible. Then you try to crawl under it. But neither way can be achieved.
You pull a ladder out of the garage thinking to yourself, “Aha. I’m going to get past you this time you impossible task.” But even after you climb to the top of the ladder on trembling legs, the ladder isn’t tall enough.
You pull a shovel out of the garage this time thinking that you can dig under the impossible and you’ll be able to escape it. But the ground is too hard. Someone poured cement over it.
Is there no hope for you? Yes, there is – You can reach out for help beyond yourself. You can ask a friend to lend their strength, their knowhow, their encouragement, and their courage.
Now, let’s take a look at that impossible task. Whichever way you try, whether around, over the top, or under you’re able to complete it. Piece-by-piece, with someone else there with you, it’s no longer impossible.
Do you ever face what feels like “the impossible”? I think we all do, whether we’re in pain or sick, at one time or another in our lives. Yet, with the person in pain that impossibility lays before us every day. Sometimes every moment.
It doesn’t matter if the task is small or large, “impossible” can describe them both.
Take a look at a few more ways that the impossible can be accomplished, whether you’re sick, hurting or well, from inc.com in their article, “11 Steps to Achieving Impossible Goals.”
Remember, God can use the help of a friend, or any of the ways above to finish your impossible task. You see, God has the power to take apart that “impossible” by removing the “im” and turning it into possible.
2 Timothy 2:3 - Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
No one would debate that soldiers face hardships every day, but those living with chronic pain or illness also face hardships.
There’s the hardship of knowing you’ll never be the same again.
There’s the hardship of having difficulty just doing ordinary tasks each day.
There’s the hardship of family not understanding you.
There’s the hardship of losing finances, because you can’t work anymore.
There’s the hardship of forgetfulness, because your pain takes up space in your thinking and leaves no room for much of anything else.
There’s the hardship of losing friendships, because they can’t stand to see you in so much pain so they drift away.
There’s the hardship of feeling like a failure.
There’s the hardship of your heart breaking into a thousand pieces, as you face the pain every and I mean every day.
This list seems daunting because it is. But each one of the hardships above can be turned around if you believe they can be:
Try to remember, each time you’re faced with difficulties, even while a bridge you used to cross has been taken down, you can take a leap of faith and find you didn’t need that bridge after all.
As the Bible verse above says, we are to endure our hardship like those soldiers around the world fighting for freedom. God will equip us to fight our battles and give us the encouragement and love we need to win back our freedom in spite of the pain or illness.
Read the article from lifehack.org titled, “5 Ways to Deal with Hardship and Pain in Life,” such as detaching yourself from the situation and accept the results and get back up again stronger.
Proverbs 2:8 - For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
There are several different sides to the word, “guard”.
You can guard your heart and only share it with someone who will treat you with love and respect.
You can guard your lips from speaking unkind words.
You can guard your life by avoiding dangerous situations.
You can guard your home by installing locks and putting in a security system.
You can guard your job by completing tasks on time and honoring your superiors.
You can guard your reputation by using discretion at all times.
You can guard your freedom by keeping society’s laws.
However, there is a bad kind of guarding and it happens frequently to those with chronic pain – guarding your muscles and posture from reinjuring yourself. This may seem like a good thing, however, by guarding you keep your muscles so tight that you can barely move.
What you are using as a protective measure can lead to increased pain.
Take a look at a statement from somatics.com, in their article, “Might You be Strengthening Your Pain?” that might help us better understand what’s going on.
So what can we do to reverse the painful cycle? Find some suggestions for releasing muscles that are guarded from stridestrong.com in their article, “Muscle Spasms.”
Here are some stretching exercises you can do at home to help with muscle pain and stress:
It will take some time to help the cycle of guarding your muscles and joints to subside, but releasing them will help you return to a more active lifestyle - One in which you aren’t guarding and thus decreasing your pain.
In addition, let God be the one who guards and protects your injury. He will protect your way and will be faithful to help you have wisdom as you move through each day.
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.