As I suspected, I have received an avalanche of commentary on this series of posts on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. Some has been positive and others..well...not so much.
Let me say again, I understand the pain. I understand no one asks for this, and I understand that my posts may have upset you. I also understand you may not agree with me because your experience is different than what I am saying. However, truth is not defined by our experience. Truth is truth and our experience never triumphs over the truth of God's Word.
What is your daily goal? Is it to simply get through the day or to feel better? Is your goal to get rid of the pain? If so, I would ask you to consider that you are aiming at the wrong goal.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB)
Is it possible that God expects you to bring Him glory in the midst of your pain? As I read the Bible, I see that God clearly expects us to glorify Him in all other kinds of trials and suffering, so I can only conclude that there is no exception for chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.
Glorifying God in the midst of Fibro would be having a godly response to the pain. Look to the Psalms for help in understanding how godly men have done that in the past. Psalm 13 gives voice to the suffering of the Psalmist, asks God to intervene, and concludes with a declaration of trust and a commitment to respond rightly.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:5-6 (NASB)
Other Psalms (77; 88) follow the same pattern, and each one helps us understand that our suffering is not unique (1 Cor 10:13) and that God is faithful to preserve us and help us to find hope in the faithfulness and promises of God.
I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.... You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. Psalm 77:11-12, 14 (NASB)
God will give you the ability and the grace to renew your mind in this manner should you desire to think differently. How you respond to pain is a revelation of what is going on in your heart, and if as you look at your responses it becomes clear to you that they are not God honoring then changes must take place in your heart before there will be changes in your life.
You must believe that it is possible for you to receive enough grace from God that will allow you function in a God-honoring way despite your pain and fatigue.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NASB)
Those aren't just words, they are truth! This means that even though you hurt, you can still love others- you can still serve. Having chronic pain or Fibromyalgia does not exempt us from being His hands, His mouthpiece, His feet, and to show His love to others. Of course the way you do this will look different than the way that a non-sufferer does. You may not have the stamina or physical ability that another woman has but that doesn't mean you sit back and do nothing.
You still must strive to put the needs of others before yourself, you are still called to love others and some suggestions for how to do that would be:
These are but a few ideas that you can put into practice to obey the important command of the Lord Jesus Christ, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ Matthew 22:39 (NASB)
- Offer to pray for others. Get your name on the prayer list at your church and become a woman of prayer. Pray at home, or host a prayer group at your home. If possible, go to the prayer group outside of your home.
- Send cards of encouragement to sick people or those who are also suffering and can't get out. Many shut-ins feel very alone and cut off from their church family.
- Offer to do light office work at your child's school. Having photocopying, organizing, filing, or other light-duty tasks are always appreciated by a busy secretary.
- Prepare or organize meals for new mom's, sick, or the elderly.
We will continue on tomorrow.