“Yes, chronic pain is a monster; but only if we allow it to be.” -Unknown
When fighting chronic pain, it can be all too easy to allow your pain to take on the form of an ever-present beast that haunts you, clawing at your soul for control and whispering doubt into your ear.
“Give up,” it tells you, “it’s no use fighting. Just give me the reins of your life and all this will be over.”
And, for many of us, we do give in. We admit defeat and allow this monster to take over every part of our lives. We become passengers as we watch life pass us by in the blink of an eye, while the beast rips everything we hold dear from us.
For the past few weeks, I myself have been defeated. I have allowed this monster to claw its way into my life so much that I had just given up fighting it anymore. I felt like I was in this constant stage of five steps forward, ten steps back, something with which I know many of you can relate.
Well, my fellow brothers and sisters-in-arms, we have been greatly deceived. You see, our pain wants us to think of it as this unstoppable monster, when, in fact, it is merely a little annoying minion that tries to think itself bigger than it really is.
As my all-wise father reminded me recently, the apostle Paul dealt with a similar issue with what he referred to as his “thorn in the flesh”. He talks about it here in 2 Corinthians 12: 7a-10.
“…So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Chronic pain is not a monster. That is merely our perception of it. If we look at it from a new perspective, we will find that this “beast” is just a minion that is only allowed to keep us in check, not control our lives. Today, put the minion in its place, by force if necessary. It is easier said than done, but all you need is to shift your perception.
Fight on, my friends. Fight on!