25 May 2008

Thanking God

On a few other blogs I've shared the fact that someone I love very much has been struggling with excruciating pain due to a deteriorating spine with arthritis. I realise that I have not shared that information here.

After a month of pain that was almost literally unbearable despite the doctors' efforts at pain relief, it seems that my loved one has got some small relief and, whilst still in very bad pain, is able to concentrate on everyday life. (The pain was so bad before that this person couldn't actually hold a conversation or concentrate on anything.)

I'm thanking God for this mercy and I've been impressed with my loved one's ability to see God at work even though their prayer to take the pain away completely was not granted.

(N.b. this post is a genuine expression of thanksgiving and should not be construed as an expression of opposition toward healing ministries; thank you for your understanding and diplomacy.)

8 comments:

Will said...

Pam: thanking God with you, and I don't hear any opposition to healing ministries in what you say. Perhaps as an aside, a colleague of mine, who has a 'severely disabled' son (I think that's her description) often will say we mistake 'healing' for 'cure'. I wonder if there is something to that if we unpack it.

Fat Prophet said...

An interesting question you pose here Will. I have always wondered about healing as opposed to cure. Is healing necessarily a complete removal of the problem or is it more of an improvement in the life of the person who has the illness - in the case Pam mentions an easing of pain would seem to be helping the person. My wife has been suffering from a very painful condition in the area between her knee and her groin on her one leg for some time now and I know that on the days when the pain is not so bad she feels much better as a whole - for her relief from the pain is good and life then seems much better.
I have also felt that sometimes we pray for healing for people and they subsequently die and we feel as if we have failed - I tend to think that for Christians that death can be the supreme healing given that we have an expectancy of something better after this life.
It is a difficult topic for some people and I suspect sometimes we are looking for God to do what we think is right, rather than trusting in Him to do what is right.
I also thank God with you for the relief your loved one has got and for their ability to see God at work in this situation.

PamBG said...

I have also felt that sometimes we pray for healing for people and they subsequently die and we feel as if we have failed - I tend to think that for Christians that death can be the supreme healing given that we have an expectancy of something better after this life.

Absolutely and thank you very much! Certainly we do have an expectation of something better after this life and that must be at the centre of our hope.

There is an Iona song which talks about Christ meeting us in the various aspects of our lives and refers to him meeting us 'in the birthplace known as death' which I find very moving. I also found moving a short meditation by Tony Campolo which I read once online that talks about the angels and heavenly hosts watching elderly Christian people and getting excited because they are about to be 'born'. Some people have this peace near death and others do not, so it's not an image that I share generally. But the fact is that at some point we must all die because of old age. I worry sometimes when people want to pray that very elderly people are cured of their maladies (This happens fairly frequently in one of my churches). It seems both like a denial of the fact of death and a denial of belief in resurrection.

It is a difficult topic for some people and I suspect sometimes we are looking for God to do what we think is right, rather than trusting in Him to do what is right.

In the very middle of my loved one's very bad pain they said just that: that they had been praying for God to take away the pain and then realized that God had been answering their prayers in different ways: by sending people to help and situations in which to rejoice.

I also thank God with you for the relief your loved one has got and for their ability to see God at work in this situation.

Thank you for thanking God with us. :-)

Olive Morgan said...

I know from past experience, years ago, how relief from pain can feel like a miracle, so I rejoice and thank God with you.
We are thanking God too - for the remarkable change in my eldest grandson after what seemed a hopeless situation. For weeks before Christmas and since then he was bedridden with severe asthma, having to wear an oxygen monitor so that when his oxygen dropped below a certain level he had to lie quite still and do nothing at all. Very tough at 27. Now, he is one of only four people in Derbyshire who is allowed to benefit from a new, very expensive treatment involving spending alternate Thursday afternoons in hospital fo an injection and monitoring. After only two treatments he was well enough to drive from Derby to Reading (to pick me up) and across to Kent a fortnight ago to celebrate my great-granddaughter's first birthday. The change is absolutely miraculous and a wonderful answer to prayer.

PamBG said...

The change is absolutely miraculous and a wonderful answer to prayer.

Wonderful! Praising God with you! :-) :-)

Thank you for sharing this with us; sharing our blessings can be so encouraging.

Dave Faulkner said...

Glad to hear, Pam. Thanking God, too.

Paul Martin said...

Good to hear your news, Pam.

PamBG said...

Thanks Dave and Paul.