Why Lord, am I struggling? Why am I going through hard times? Worse yet, why are the people I love suffering? Where are you Lord? Why do these horrible things happen to such good people?
I'll admit it, I have. After years of watching my husband try to cope with unrelenting pain from an accident that occurred back when he was a volunteer firefighter, I have questioned God.
And it isn't just the pain (as if that weren't enough) but the struggles with managing the medications that make something resembling normal life possible. Medicines that are addictive and yet so vital to his day to day life. Today he has great control of his doses and a schedule that he watches closely. He also has my understanding and support. But he didn't always (a hard admission for me to make). For years I didn't understand, couldn't understand what he was dealing with. How could I really, having never experienced, this pain he lives with? In my ignorance I judged him, I questioned the need for all the medication, questioned his honesty, questioned everything. To be fair, we went through some really tough times, times when he did not have such good control. Times when the medicine controlled him instead of him controlling it. We fought and struggled against each other for the longest time before we realized what the real enemy was. Gradually we found each other again and learned to trust each other again. And we learned to stand as a united front against the pain, the medications, and the world. Because the majority of the world is just like I was, they can't understand. Unless you have lived it, or lived long enough with someone who lives with it; I don't know that true understanding is possible.
Yes, I have questioned God. I have lain in bed in the dark of night and cried because my husband wasn't there, couldn't be there in the bed with me because of this unrelenting pain. I wish I could tell you that I now have the answers. I don't. I may never understand why someone I love suffers so. But I have learned something. I have learned that if we allow it, God can take even our darkest moments and use them to bless others. I know this because I experienced it first hand just recently.
I have a (cyber) friend who is in a struggle very similar to my husband's struggle. There was an accident, multiple surgeries and procedures, and years of pain and pain medications. A few weeks ago she went through a really tough time. She was scheduled to see her doctor to get her medication filled but had to reschedule due to a family crisis. Then she found herself out of medicine and facing the weekend alone. Well, not quite alone. See, God had a plan. A way to take some of my hardest life lessons (and my husband's) and use them to help her through.
His plan actually began with her crisis. We private messaged on Facebook a few times about that and then exchanged phone numbers and began texting. Nothing profound or anything, just your run of the mill "how are you's" and "you can do this" kind of thing. So, when her long weekend arrived, we had already established a pattern of communication. It was easy, at least for me, to reach out and offer encouragement and support. Maybe it wasn't so easy for her, I don't know. Admitting the struggle is hard, though leaning on a relative stranger during those times can make it easier (voice of therapy and experience here). Anyway, all weekend I was just a text away. We would ramble on for a while, then she would fade out (resting or otherwise occupied). Then when she needed a boost she would be back. It wasn't anything overwhelmingly miraculous, just one person being there for another. But in a way, if you think about it, it was kind of miraculous. Because God was able to use me in some small way to help someone else. He was able to use our hardships to bless another person.
I still pray everyday for a miracle, I still have days when I cry out "why?". I probably always will, it's just part of being human. But in the meantime, I find comfort in knowing that our struggles are not in vain, that God can use us, use our hardships to help someone else.....
|Or, more accurately, when it seems He is silent. Sometimes I think I can't hear Him because I am too distracted by life....|
Don't forget to check out my Thursday Thankfulness post today. And please keep the communities of Boston, Massachusetts and West, Texas in your prayers.