Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Testimony

In light of my recent pains, and the realization that my arms were beginning to feel numb, I paid a visit to Jorge, My Massage Therapist, at Art of Touch today.  God used him in a mighty way (whether or not he knows it) and I walked out with much more feeling in my arms than when I went in.  I hadn’t realized how much feeling I had lost, and am exceedingly thankful that the Lord revealed the issue to him and used him to help correct it. 

(Apparently, the bones in my neck are bearing down on a particular nerve, which causes numbness in my arms - primarily my left.  I was amazed as my arm went through various stages of returning to normal feeling.  I still have a bit of numbness left - and so, plan to see him next week - but it's a far cry from what it had been. )

I'm not very good at finding an opening for sharing the Lord in a conversation that doesn't already include Him.  In my attempts to be more intentional in my walk with God, I've been analyzing my conversations to find an appropriate way to bring Him in, if possible.  I thought about my conversation with Jorge during the visit, in which he remarked about my pain tolerance (high).  I didn't find the opening until after I left Art of Touch, but I thought I'd share, as it is truly a part of my testimony. 

The pain that I deal with is a pretty constant pain, and a bit dull.  I find it a little easier to deal with sharper pain, as there's a certain way to diffuse it some by spreading or redirecting my focus.  I can do the same thing with constant pain, but it gets harder to redirect my focus as time goes on.   Sometimes the days don't matter as much as the minutes.  I need something to focus on that is greater than the pain.  

The easiest way to do that, I have found, is to be thankful for what God has given me.  You might ask how I could be thankful when He has chosen not to heal me, and to allow this suffering in my life.  My answer lies in Romans 8:28-30:  

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."  

God causes all things to work together for the good of His children.  He works toward the purpose of making His children more like Christ, and in so doing, He brings glory not only to Himself, but also to those same children. 

If God causes all things to work together for the good of His children, then nothing is beyond His control, which means that my pain is a result of His love.  Before you think that's sadistic, consider the pain that a doctor must put a patient through to set a broken bone.  Consider the drama that a small child endures when he or she doesn't want to eat vegetables and the parent has to make him or her so that he or she stays healthy.  It matters so much to the child in that moment, and he or she may very well question the parent's motives during that time.  Yet the doctor or parent has what's best for the patient or child in mind.

God loves me so much that He allows me to undergo pain for my good and for the good of His children.  He is Teaching me how to become more like Christ through my pain, and also producing a testimony in me of His glory that will encourage others of His children.  Certainly, the pain is bad, but God is so much bigger than my pain.  This pain will end, and in the light of eternity, even my life is fleeting.

So I thank the Lord that He loves me enough to do the hard things.  I thank Him for His Love and His Grace, and as I thank Him, my focus is naturally drawn from my pain onto Him, thereby making the pain easier (which may be what He is teaching me), and filling my life with more joy.  God, and a life led pursuing Him, is Joy.

How can I keep from singing?

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