Pain Management

Psalm 51:8 - Satisfy me in your sweetness and your joy and my humble bones will rejoice.

I used to marvel at my grandmother's love for Jesus and how she would marvel and wonder at His grace and mercy in all things. If you told her an amazing story or about one of your seemingly ordinary accomplishments she would look at you with her sparkling, blue eyes as wide as could be and she would utter, "Honestly..." in such amazement.

As a kid, I thought, "Wow, she needs to get out more, this isn't such a big deal" or, "she's my grandma, she has to act like I'm a big deal." The older I get, I realize neither of those things were true. My grandma had lived plenty and she wasn't being patronizing. It's that she truly, honestly marveled at God and what He was doing in the life of her family. Her wonder and amazement was pure joy and thanksgiving.

My grandmother lived with excruciatingly painful and debilitating arthritis for most of her adult life, but instead of complaining, she praised God for even the mundane because she learned to celebrate joy and beauty as the most effective painkiller. She had tried all the treatments, both traditional and experimental - because of course she would have wanted to be pain free. But when she looked at you and listened to a story and uttered, "honestly..." as her way of wonder and thanksgiving, you knew for that small moment she was pain free.

The last few weeks have been ones of extremes in my little community. Mourning the loss of a friend one moment, rejoicing at his home going to Heaven the next. Dancing and well wishing a new bride and groom one day, hearing of and praying for dire health diagnoses the, I don't have crippling arthritis like my grandma but this world feels like a vice that squeezes my bones and heart most days.

I'm beginning to understand my grandma a lot more. Sometimes my kids or husband chuckle at me because I offer up praises to God for the most mundane things. I celebrate the smallest things now, because like Grandma, I've tried all the other remedies. Nothing is as reliable as praise and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving for even the smallest things allow me to leave the constantly closing vice for even a moment and enter into the Heavenly realm to thank the One who promises to remove the tears once and for all. Who has conquered all the death and the sting of the here and now and promised us a pain-free forever. So I will be intentional to look at the world through my grandma's twinkly blue eyes and declare my wonder and amazement because God is good even when this world is not.

Isaiah 35:10 -
So the redeemed of the LORD will return and enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.
Psalm 35:10 - All my bones will exclaim, "Who is like You, O LORD, who delivers the afflicted from the aggressor, the poor and needy from the robber?"