Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Praise and Pain

Did you know that praise and pain are connected? Maybe not in the way you think, though. Usually when I am in pain, Praise is not the first thing that springs up in my mind. Spasming muscles, numb legs and aching shoulders don't immediately birth thoughts like "Thank You Lord for giving me these health issues", "Father God, I so appreciate Your inflicting me with this spasming body', or "May tomorrow be a day as full of pain as today has been." Nope, those words are not my first choice. I don't think that is what God means at all when He tells us in His word to praise Him in the middle of our circumstances. I can't find it in my deepest heart of hearts to even THINK about praising God if I am focused on how bad my body hurts. I bet you can't either. Physical pain is not the only pain we experience. It hurts to be in financial lack. It hurts to be hungry. It hurts to lose a loved one or to see a beloved child go astray. It hurts to be lonely or to feel rejected by a close friend. It hurts to be homeless or cold or sad. It hurts to be misunderstood by a spouse. I would even go so far as to say it might even hurt to form words of praise from within a wounded spirit. But, it can be done. Sometimes we just have to take the first step in SPITE of our struggles. How about the next time pain invades your space, you just open your mouth and say, "God, I know this pain I am feeling is not Your best for me and I know that You have compassion that never fails. It is in knowing that, that I can rest in the hope that You have this all under control. Better days are in my future because I am promised that in Your Word. I praise You for holding me up when I am weak. I praise You for waking me up to a new day every morning. I praise You for the people in my life who love me in spite of this disability and the limits it forces on me. I praise You for giving me life and love and breath and hope. I praise You for Your divine provision and peace. Father God, I so appreciate your willingness to carry me. May tomorrow be a day as full of blessings as today has been. Amen." Walk forward even when it hurts. God is waiting ahead as well as walking beside you all the way. Love and Blessings to you friends, Starr LaPradd