“Then you will lift up your face without shame; you will st& firm & without fear.” (Job 11:15 NIV)
On September 9, 1965 James Stockdale had to eject from his plane over Vietnam. For years he suffered torture as a prisoner of war, enduring things we can hardly imagine. He said something very interesting, & I think it applies to those of us suffering from chronic afflictions. He said: “…the thing that brings a man down is not pain but shame!”
That is quite a revelation considering the kinds of, & degrees of pain he must have endured. Thinking back on my worst times of affliction, it does seem to me that the downward spiral emotionally came from the shame that opened me up to depression which began wearing away at my will to endure. Yet at other times I felt strong even when in terrible shape with my affliction, because I was able to hold my head up as a child of God, knowing that my suffering was not meaningless to Him, & no matter how terrible the humiliation of my affliction, I knew need not feel either ashamed or ab&oned for I had support & approval from God.
Shame is a subtle poison for those who are afflicted. It can be imposed upon us by others or by our own feelings of worthlessness. Yet we have choices when shame rears its ugly head. We can choose to accept it, & fall beneath the weight of the ugly beast, or we can choose to squash it beneath the fact that we are sons & daughters of God. These bodies are temporary, what they are now have nothing to do with the body that awaits us, & could they but see us then-they would be astonished. Shame has no hold on us for we are our Father’s children come what may.
Prayer: Dear Lord, these bodies try to humiliate & bring us down, & sometimes circumstances try to force shame upon us, & those around may try to as well. Help us to always remember that we are Your children-children of the Almighty God. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. With God’s help he has survived many years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Crohn’s Disease. He is author of the book: Chronic Illness.