Pain sucks. If I’m 100% transparent, it’s not the pain that bothers me.
It’s the fear that comes with the pain.
I’ve told my doctor on multiple visits that “the pain doesn’t bother me, I can deal with it. What I want is to make sure of is that it’s not killing me.”
I’ve owned seven Fords. Seven. No particular reason, it’s just the way that it always worked out.
Every last one of those Fords followed the same dreadful path. I was told each time that “the ‘whatever-whatever’ engine will run ya forever.”
Seven. Every Ford had a multitude of dashboard lights on when I traded it in or sold it. In every case but one, the car still ran pretty well (beyond the normal age and wear and tear) but all of those warning lights were on.
I have warning lights all over my body. I have a bad shoulder that needs replaced for a second time. I have type 2 diabetes and have peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet due to the diabetes. Severe hearing loss and I am over-weight. All of these issues lead to pain and I’ve got dashboard lights on all over my body. Some more serious than others. I burn oil. I get overheated. I have to regularly check the tires for slow leaks. But I’m still going.
This old body I call a car still gets me from point a to point b. But when I get concerned is when another new dash light comes on. Is this the one? Will this be the one that will lead them to find the cause of all the other lights? Will we get the news that this one can’t be repaired and I’ve got limited miles left?
That’s my pain. I could lie and say it’s led me to a closer relationship with Christ. I could give you stories about hours in prayer and some incredible peace I’ve found.
I’d be lying.
It sounds good on a Sunday morning video but it’s not real. What I have learned to accept is the “thorn” that Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 12.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I’ve prayed that God would take pain away more times than I can count. I’ve done it in the middle of the night when I feared I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. I’ve done it in the morning hoping to get through one day pain-free. But for whatever reason, He hasn’t taken it away.
So my dashboard lights will continue to glow until I trade this “vehicle” in one day. I hope that day is long after I’ve seen my grandchildren grow and made more forever memories with my beautiful wife.
Until then, I’ll keep the oil filled, air in the tires and do my best to enjoy every mile we spend together.