While September may feature pumpkins, football, and the start of fall, it also highlights and is recognized as Pain Awareness Month. At some point in life, we all experience pain on some level, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is the one thing in life that cannot be avoided no matter how hard we may try. There are many individuals who battle pain on a daily basis due to chronic illness, and they fight every day to live a normal life.
Author Brooke Bartz discovered she had rheumatoid arthritis and gastroparesis early in her life. But she didn’t let her illness stop her from sharing the love of God with those around her. In her book, Chronic Love, Brooke points out that suffering is inescapable in this world, but the pain of our trials are not the end. She gives readers the Biblical encouragement that is needed to help overcome the daily battles many face while living with a chronic illness.
“To My New Friends,
In the following pages, you’ll discover an open book of carefully chosen words, penned in the quiet nooks of my heart’s journal and now, putting pen to paper, offered as hope-filled letters to you. If you’re a woman with a disease or disability, or if you’re a caregiver of one with disease, please know you’re not alone.
The disease or disability you’re enduring is God’s chosen will for you, and it may be gone tomorrow, or you may carry it with you for the rest of your life. I find comfort in the apostle Paul’s divinely, inspired words, “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Like me, your life may be enmeshed with disease or disability – but your life doesn’t abound in it. If you’re a believer in our Lord, Jesus Christ, then experiencing a disease doesn’t ever change the fact that you’re an heir to the King and kept by the merciful and consuming affection of a Father who cares for you. He doesn’t turn His head in disgust or ignorance or dismiss your disease and the trials you face; but He has ordained it.”
“I know disease can deflate your heart at times. I know the suffering you go through yanks, jerks, and pulls your body like matchstick-thin shoelaces ripping through the loops of beaten up sneakers. Disease is like a stainless-steel faucet pouring out water upon you, cold and relentless, and the resulting tears you cry could fill the infinite ocean. I know your prayers to end this trial could fill a best-selling memoir, and your pain from suffering could overwhelm a skilled and strategic army, yet though you feel vastly outwitted and outnumbered, you have no reason to fear disease or tremble at death if you’re in Christ.
There is no fear in death when we have Christ as our Victor, Christ as our Reward. Death takes us into eternity, either with life and love eternal or with weeping and gnashing of teeth and separation from God. One day we will die, and when we take our last breath, we will either be in Heaven in serene rest or with Satan in eternal torment. As believers, we get to choose to die with knowing Christ as our Lord, our Forever Healer; we will die with confidence in His Truth. As a believer, you choose to live life in the confidence and faith that God is in control and that you can trust Him through the pain. You can choose to live with the choice of goodness and righteousness, being blameless like Christ who chose the Father’s will to be done. You can choose to live for the Father, to be content and wait; even with your earth-bound body in the throes of disease or disability, you can say, ‘Not my will, Lord, but thy will be done.’”
To learn more about Brooke and Chronic Love, visit HERE.