“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place” (Psalm 118:5).
I have often thought that those of us who have suffered long term with physical and mental illness and unending pain have common ground with sufferers of PTSD. We think of PTSD in terms of soldiers on battlefields, war zones, and enduring battle injuries. Yet those who have suffered years of physical and mental pain, living through endless stressful days and nights of unending grief and misery, we too know something of PTSD.
In his excellent blog post “What PTSD Is” Myke Cole acknowledges that PTSD is not limited to the battlefield:
“It Isn’t just soldiers and cops and ER nurses. Life in poverty can bring on PTSD. An abusive parent can have the same effect.”
Some of us have been brought to the doors of death by illness, we have endured ongoing fear for our life and well being. Endless days of pain and suffering can have a personality changing effect leaving us unable to recognize ourselves anymore. Even though suffering can purify and put our priorities in order, it can also affect us in negative ways beyond grasping.
If you are suffering through illness and disease, fighting through one difficult day after another, you are going to need your faith, for there is no way to finish this race without a strength that can carry us when we can no longer move along under our own strength. We need a Captain who has also suffered and endured, One who has already paved the way for us.
I have not suffered on a battlefield serving my country. I thank God for those who have done so. I cannot imagine the terrible things they have endured. Yet suffering itself is a common enemy, and pain knows no borders or rank, but affects us all in various ways.
Prayer: Dear Lord, life both weighs us down and wears us down in many ways through various means, give us the strength, courage, and endurance to finish our race well. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is grateful that the Lord of all things has picked him up many times when he has fallen down, and has delivered him from destruction.
Has traumatic stress taken a toll on your life? Have you called upon the Lord to give you strength for the battle?
This is “Hello, My Name is” by Matthew West. We are not our struggles. We are so much more because of who our Father is. -Lisa