What’s a good Thanksgiving prayer for pain? That’s an easy one. . . Dear God, please make my pain go away.
Anyone thankful for the pain? The Psalmist sounded like he was thankful when he said, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (Psalm 119:71).
It’s taken me a while to understand that verse.
One October, I injured my back carrying my son’s small TV into his college dormitory. What was I thinking? I had just started a new job teaching high school students who had learning disabilities. Suddenly I was bedridden.
Lying flat on my back for eight weeks was frustrating. Bored and discouraged, I often reached for the Bible. God began speaking words of encouragement to me. “Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress. . .” (Jeremiah 16:19).
Later when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, uncertainty filled my thoughts. Once again, pain caused me to return to the Bible. Once more, His Word gave me hope.
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)
Having MS has transformed my thinking. It’s opened my eyes to blessings I used to ignore. Like the ability to walk and to see. I call it ‘kiwi living.’ Cut into an ugly kiwi and you’ll find the hidden blessing: vibrant green sweet fruit. For most of my life I didn’t know the surprise hiding in every apple. How thrilling it was to cut it in half differently and discover a star! I’d been missing the blessing in each apple.
In high school I was given an assignment to photograph beauty. The challenge was to find it from different perspectives: looking closely at a blade of grass dripping with dew, looking up to the sky through trees, finding beauty in unusual lighting. . .
My walk to the bus stop was a whole new adventure. It made me realize I had been missing beauty all around me. I had overlooked so many blessings.
My pain, like the fruit, has shifted my perspective.
Prayer: Dear Father, I praise You for helping me to be grateful in the midst of my illness. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Your presence sustains me in my pain. Help me to proclaim Your love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
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How has your illness affected your prayers?