Some days my pain is so ruthless I don’t even want to get outta bed.
Maybe it’s the morning after one of those nights when I only slept four hours, and am purely exhausted. Yes, my back and leg pain is somewhat less than it used to be, but it’s still powerful enough to make me wince when I crawl outta bed (similar to pulling myself out of a pool sometimes).
It’s still bad enough to frustrate me.
Severe enough to make me wanna scream.
For millions of people today, short of a Heaven-sent miracle, there’s no escaping the prison of pain.
So what do we do? I have a saying, and I’m honestly not sure if I thought of it, or if I read it somewhere:
Steal joy where you can.
This means not accepting your current dilemma. You can’t just lay down and die; you have to pull yourself to your knees, pray and ask God for strength, then stand up and RAGE ON.
Remember, every day requires a choice to get up and face the day. Survival requires blood, sweat and stamina. It demands courage.
Living, thriving and surviving doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a product of sheer will. It takes guts to not lay down and die. The only way you can withstand the constant barrage of chronic physical and/or emotional pain is to develop a gritty determination to PERSEVERE.
As it’s been said, “Never let ’em get’cha down.”
For you see, if you quit, the darkness wins. All those people who said you couldn’t do it—we’ll call ’em “The Inconsequentials”—win. The ones who laugh when you fall. The ones who smirk when you walk by. The ones who scoff at your style. The ones who snicker at your spunk. The ones who mock your family incessantly.
Yeah, them. The Inconsequentials. If you quit, they win.
Forget them, man. Forget ’em!
I could sulk in my own fears, but instead, maybe I’ll shut the door, put on some heavy metal music and shadow-box the Devil until I’m too exhausted to continue.
Perhaps I’ll pray until the joy breaks through.
Or maybe, if I’m feeling extra-kooky, I’ll shut myself in the house with my four-year-old grandson, Joshy (pictured above with my son, Trey) and watch “Peppa Pig” until we have every line memorized. I’ll let his DVDs play until I’m sick of ’em, if only to soak up his contagious grin.
Ya gotta learn to laugh at the Devil. Like the old Southern Gospel song says, “I’ve read the back of the Book, and we win.”
Don’t embrace your misery; battle against it!
This message is for me just as much as it is for you. I have a long way to go, but the whole point is to keep moving.
Maybe you can’t run…
Maybe you can’t even walk…
But you can crawl…
So crawl. Walk to the mailbox and back by yourself instead of asking someone else to grab the mail for you. Don’t park in that handicapped spot. Take a spot farther back, and push yourself just a little. I’m not talking about hurting yourself, I’m talking about testing your limits.
Don’t accept mediocrity when God is calling you to greatness, my friend.
“Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired,
They walk and don’t lag behind (from Isaiah 40, the MSG, emphasis mine).”
“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life (James 1:12, MSG).”
“Come to me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. I will give you rest. Accept my teaching. Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will be able to get some rest. Yes, the teaching that I ask you to accept is easy. The load I give you to carry is light (Matthew 11:28-30 ERV).”