I was in a situation the other day where acute and chronic pain were doing a dance. Frenetic tap dancing I would say since I do not truly understand tango – and tango seems to be a love dance. One area calls for attention and then acute throbs. First one recedes and another pops up. Like pinball pain, ding-ding-ding, someone hits the flipper and it catapults pain here there and everywhere. What to do when this occurs? First try to draw close to God as He soothes and even at times relieves the situation. I know from experience that trying to determine how I caused this is a futile waste of time and energy.
Realized I was agonizing over my situation while journaling and had failed to do my pastor’s challenge to FIRST THING every morning write 5 gratitudes. Oops, I entertained flesh over discipline there. So I stopped and began to write the five. Then with compassion admitted I do not feel well. Confessed it is hard to focus on the Lord and “Hard to focus on anything” when I get like this. Asked for guidance.
Turned to Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young on my iPad. “I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying “I trust You, Jesus,” in response to whatever happens to you.” It goes on to say I am to view events from the perspective of God’s universal and sovereign control, letting fear lose it’s grip. (See Jesus Calling, January 4).
Then I realized that warfare has been raging here for a couple days. (Why do I not recognize it as soon as it begins?) So I was careful to pray the armor of God and Blood of Jesus over me. I journaled, “The matrix of life spins and unfolds. I am held in Your hands. Centered in You nothing can touch me. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.”
Show wondrously Your acts of loyal love,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye
hide me in the shadow of Your wings
from the presence of the wicked who destroy me,
those enemies against my life,
they that surround me.Psalm 17:7-9
Then I turned to a new favorite gift that Dan sent me a few months ago. “Every Moment Holy”, Volume 1, A Liturgy for the Feeling of Infirmities.” Liturgy used with permission.
"We were not made for mortality but for immortality; our souls are ever in their prime, and so the faltering of our physical bodies repeatedly takes us by surprise. "The aches, the frailties, the injuries, the impositions of vexing disease and worsening condition are unwelcome evidences of our long exile from the Garden. "Even so, may the inescapable decline of our bodies here not be wasted. May it do its tutoring work, inclining our hearts and souls ever more vigorously toward Your coming kingdom, O God. "While we rightly pray for healing and relief and sometimes receive the respite of such blessings, give us also patience for the enduring of whatever hardships our journeys entail."
Five stanzas remain. You can purchase the entire liturgy for $1.00 from Rabbit Room at https://www.everymomentholy.com/liturgies#free. Scroll down the page to Individual Liturgies for Purchase, Liturgies for Sorrow and Lament. In drop down window “A Liturgy for” select Feelings of Infirmity. Place in cart. Pay one dollar.
How does this help? My attention and focus have now moved from helplessness at my dilemma to looking to Jesus. When the acute jumps for attention this day I can say, “I trust You, Jesus.” I am reminded that Scripture is still true.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.Isaiah 46:4 NIV
And then this passage seems to respond as my heartfelt prayer.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare Your power to the next generation,
Your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
You who have done great things.
Who is like You, God?Psalm 71:18-19 NIV
And I hear this song of worship that brings me to stillness.