There is so much pain in the world.
Forgive me if you are having an uplifting day, I do not mean to drag you down with this discussion. It is true though, along with the breathtaking beauty in life comes a whole heart load of hurt. I have no authority in speaking about this issue. I have never battled cancer, experienced a car accident, or suffered from divorce. My bubble of pain is pretty small and thankfully, ever so protected by my Savior.
You might be wondering where my thoughts about pain and healing have spurred from and honestly, I am still trying to figure that out myself. Two months ago, I started having lower back pain. This was not a result of an injury or severe strain, the pain just emerged out of nowhere. At the same time, another entirely unrelated medical dilemma, involving the possibility of me having PCOS, also popped out of nowhere. I am still in the process of waiting for answers on both issues and seeking treatment. Please, know these two things are not for anyone to worry nor be alarmed about. What I am facing is nothing compared to what so many other brave individuals go through. However, I would be lying to you if I said that these past two months have not altered my world. My days have often been full of confusion, tears, and serious pain. As I write this today, I am still searching for answers as to why this happening to me. I am still hurting. Again, judge me if you will, but I believe we all have different levels of tolerance for pain. My tolerance level is tiny and therefore, this is a lot for me to try to walk through and understand right now.
If you follow me on Instagram, @kohliebrowning, you might have noticed the ongoing theme of my recent posts revolving around trusting in the Lord and praying for His healing. Now some of you know the where the root all of these posts are stemming from. I know everything happens for a reason, but the thing I find the most frustrating is the unknown reasons. We live in a culture that thrives on seeing results. We like to celebrate the success of our labor and I am as guilty as the next guy in doing this. Throughout these past couple of months, I have been praying that there would be some fruit born out of this tender time in my life. Though I have not witnessed it yet, God has been drawing me closer, strengthening my trust, and calling me to endure the pain through Him. This, of course, I am thankful for!
During my first year of college, I joined a bible study hosted by a neighboring Christian college. Once a week a group of five or six of us would gather and study a chapter of the bible. The meetings were not very organized and we did not even follow a series, but the conversations and encouragement that we engaged in were incredible. One night one of the girl’s in the group, Shelby, shared an idea that resonated with me and began to grow in the garden of my heart. She spoke about how following Christ is not always a life full of bliss and constant inspiration. The life of a follower often looks a lot like a rise and fall flow chart. Shelby used the term “endurance” as an adjective for those who cling to Christ. His followers have endurance, they do not quit, and they continuously pursue Him. Contrary to popular belief, we do not experience trials because He loves us less or wants to see us suffer. Perhaps, Jesus sees potential where we do not and wants to use our pain, our heartache, or our every bit of weakness for His purpose?
If you are praying for healing in any area of your life, you should first know that your ache is acknowledged. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed”. He is aware of every tremor in your body and all of the wounds you are nursing. Secondly, He assures us that you will be healed. Jeremiah 30: 17 states, “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds’ says the Lord”.
As 2017 emerged, I was chalked full of creativity and bouncing with energy. Yet, the pain in these past two months have zapped me of both. I have been brought to my knees and have every day asked God for relief and complete healing. Again, I feel foolish and guilty sharing this when there are those who are lying unconscious, mourning the loss of a loved one, or might even be contemplating taking their own life. Pain without God brings out our worst, but for those who endure with God from the pain evolves beauty. Isaiah 38:16 encourages us by exclaiming, “Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!”
We may or may not see the purpose behind our suffering, which is something I am learning to come to peace with. Job 9:10 says, “He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles”. Like the old Gaither’s gospel song “Through It All” says, “Through it all, I have learned to trust in Jesus. I have learned to trust in God. I have learned to depend upon His word”. My prayers for healing within myself, as well as all of you reading this are far from over. Yet, through all it all, all of the pain and brokenness I will chose to trust Him. I will praise Him and thank Him, because I live to have endurance in my walk with Christ. While I await healing, I chose to endure.