Chronic Pain, Healing Tears, and the Joy Coming


Chronic Pain, Healing Tears, and the Joy Coming

Guest Blog by Tim Reside, President of Bright Tomorrows

"I’m tired of all this—so tired. My bed has been floating forty days and nights on the flood of my tears. My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears. The sockets of my eyes are black holes; nearly blind, I squint and grope." Psalm 6:6-7 (MSG) 

I believe in miracles because I believe in God. Dictionaries define miracles as “surprising and welcome events that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws.” Persons of faith happily attribute these to the goodness and mercy of God. Nevertheless, some of us who believe, do live with chronic medical and psychiatric health issues—often including chronic pain. Such co-occurrence can become overwhelming. I have often been reinvigorated by observing the courage of others who endure trials and testing. I want to emulate those who choose a pathway through that matures character. I am inspired by those who hope on in faith even when the going is tough.  

Honest Groaning and Gratitude Attitude.

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We do groan, we do weep - sometimes profusely. Why? Because in the darkness of our painful midnights it just hurts!  I believe that God desires to meet us in our groanings and tears:

“Likewise the Spirit of God also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” - Romans 8:26

It does no good to fake it. We need not fear nor be ashamed of times when we find ourselves lamenting in anguish.

“[God] you’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” - Psalm 56:8 (MSG)

It is my desire to be an encouragement to persevering fellow travelers. I have discovered that it is important to daily find meaning, purpose and significance—even during times of pain—especially during times of pain. It is equally important to cultivate and maintain an attitude of gratitude in order to find and to keep joy. 

Joy is a Song of Hope and Reassurance.

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Joy is not a party emotion, rather joy is hope singing its “hold on my child” faith song in the middle of the dark night. Joy is also hope singing its faith song during the daylight moments of reprieve, release and healing-recovery. This is the hope-embracing lifestyle choice of those who live,

“... as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing ....” - 2 Corinthians 6:10

While healing found in tears may be but a temporary relief, these healings nevertheless are reoccurring assurances that one day God will wipe away all tears. In that day,

“There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:4

Tim Reside | President of Bright Tomorrows

Bright Tomorrowsa 501(c)3 non-profit organization composed of clergy, mental health professionals, individuals with mental health concerns and their family members. Bright Tomorrows is dedicated to reflecting the compassion of Jesus Christ by promoting mental health, helping those struggling with mental illness toward a healing-recovery lifestyle, and by assisting churches in their mission to better serve those with mental health concerns. The primary goals are to find ways to de-stigmatize mental illness, educate faith communities about mental illness, inform mental health professionals about faith and religious issues with regard to healing recovery, network churches and community resources to better meet mental health needs, and provide encouragement, spiritual support and resources to individuals and families struggling with mental illness. Visit Bright Tomorrows to learn more about their resources and programs.

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