“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise,” (Proverbs 10:19 NIV)
After greeting several people at church, it occurred to me that I approached the conversations all in the same way. I talked at length about my chronic illness. This troubled me, so I asked a close friend if I talk a lot about my chronic pain and my recent challenges. She insisted I do not and that I’m just self-conscious about it. She may be right.
But it still concerns me.
On the one hand, I don’t want to ignore my pain. It is a very real part of me. And it will continue to be a big part of my life in the years ahead. On the other hand, I don’t want to be consumed by it and make it the overwhelming topic of my conversations. It doesn’t define me.
Striking a balance is hard. The more I focus on my pain in my daily conversations, the less I focus on God and how He’s helping me through these challenges.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to deny how I’m feeling or how I’m doing. I will continue to speak truthfully – whether I’m having a good day or a not-so-good day. Either way, I want to bring God into my pain. I want Him to show me when my words are many about my illness. Or when I’ve set my pain up on the pedestal of all my thoughts and imaginations. Or when I’ve dethroned Him and crowned my illness King of my life.
My illness may never leave me. But God is always with me, and He himself never forsakes me. That is what I want others to know!
I may be hurting physically, emotionally, and mentally. But even in my pain, I want to spread the fragrance of knowing God (2 Corinthians 2:14). I know He listens. I know He comforts. I know He provides. I know He cares.
Yes, I live with pain. And yes, I live with God. Now, there’s striking a balance of words.
Prayer: Father, help me to spread everywhere the fragrance of knowing You through my illness and pain. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daphne is a thirty-something freelance writer and speaker who comforts others with the comfort she herself has received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). She is a leader in a Christ-centered recovery program and is daily learning to believe God through all of her physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Contact Daphne at firstname.lastname@example.org.