My heart races, my strength leaves me, and even the light of my eyes has faded. (Ps. 38:10)
On Super Bowl Sunday my husband injured his back while shoveling snow. This catapulted him into months of doctor visits, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and other treatments that only took the edge off his pain. Back surgery finally brought relief, but until then the kids and I saw the toll that physical suffering can take on a person’s mood and energy level.
I got a taste of physical pain soon afterward when I had both my gallbladder and appendix removed within six weeks of each other. In both cases surgery came as a welcome light at the end of the tunnel. Recovering from incisions felt like nothing compared to the agony of a sick organ.
Once we’d both recovered, I wondered about those who live with pain for years with no relief in sight. Some work, serve in their churches, attend Bible study, and even care for their chil- dren while managing a painful illness or the results of an injury. My experiences gave me an extra dose of empathy. How could I be more sensitive? How could I help? How could I offer encour- agement? When I see someone now who is obviously hurting physically, I say a quick prayer that God will give them strength and relief.
All of us endure pain on occasion—ailments that zap our energy and seem like they’ll last forever—but they eventually end. Perhaps these experiences can prompt us to pray for those who are in pain on a regular basis. Who needs some extra strength today? Who needs to find the right medical treatment to ease his or her suffering? Who needs a healing touch from God and a reminder that He will sustain them until He calls them home?