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Thursday, September 14, 2017


Yesterday's post dealt with three situations of intense pain and grief.  The loss of a long time spouse, a child in an intensely painful position, and the long good-bye which comes with aging parents.  Though these three situations are greatly different, they have one huge thing in common---they are creating heart pain for those involved.  A physiologic heart attack is extremely painful--so I have been told.  An emotional heart attack could perhaps be even more painful--for it does not deal with just the heart muscle--but the heart as a whole--physical as well as emotional.

In the midst of some of my hardest days, I was driving home from Austin when I began to have chest pains so terrific I could not catch my breath.  The pain became so intense I pulled over and called a medical friend who quickly diagnosed a panic attack brought on by my intense grief.  The pain was real--even when there was no damage to my heart--I seriously doubt a myocardial infarction could be any more painful.  I was absolutely debilitated for a period of time.

Recently I have been thinking over the pain I have endured in the past.  I have discovered an amazing thing---though I remember I was in pain and recognize the depth of my grief, I cannot remember the physical experience of the pain.  A similar experience would be the pain of child birth.  Though we know it was a pain like no other, and we can give words to what we felt, we no longer feel that same pain.  Childbirth, in most cases, has a happy outcome and we often think this is what helps us to forget the pain.  I don't really think that is the case, I believe God has given us the unique characteristic of moving beyond the pain.  Job is an excellent example.  He lost EVERYTHING--even his family--and yet he lived for another day and God blessed him with another family.  Now-I seriously doubt Job EVER forgot his family he lost--he grieved for them the remainder of his days, BUT the extreme pain of the moment of loss never had to be relived again.  Gone---but not forgotten.  He moved on to live in the day God had given him.

I am thankful God has been by my side every step of the way--the good, the bad, and the ugly have not driven Him from me.  I am thankful though I know I was in pain--I no longer feel that intense pain.  I am thankful for the scars on my heart that remind me of His faithful presence and comfort.  I am thankful for the hope for tomorrow and the joy of today.  I am thankful.

 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalms 18:2


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