Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Darkness and the Light

'Out of the darkness I cry to You' are some words written by a man (or woman) who knew God and who knew pain. After two millennia these and similar words continue to help me as I struggle with one of the worst pains known to man - the searing internal (or should I say infernal) agony of chronic pancreatitis. Another one gives me heart - 'the darkness and light are just the same to You Lord'. That is not just a comfort when you can't sleep and yet are not free to make a noise so that you don't wake anybody else up - it also reminds me that God is just as real and just as close in the bad times as well as the good.

Today, 3,000 miles away in Washington DC, Barack Obama sat at his desk and signed the decree that declares that the imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay will end in one year from today. One day my Commander in Chief will sit at His desk and write out something similar about me and this prison cell of pain. There will come a day, and a moment when this cell door will open and I will go free. 'Please Lord, for the sake of your elect, let it be soon.'

It's been over twelve years now since this appalling pain first touched my life and ignited the war within. During my countless times in hospital and frequent brushes with death, I have become almost used to the fight. So today I just sat down and reminded myself of some stuff I needed to hear:
  • God's not finished with me yet
  • God's gifts and callings are irrevocable
  • Pain can't stop me praying, even if it limits the clever stuff (not a bad idea anyway)
  • The Bible is still true ('heaven and earth may pass away but My Word will never etc')
  • God is good, all the time
  • Jesus loves me.

The pain is dreadful, but it would be infinitely greater if I didn't know the above. Thanks to those of you who join me in my longing for healing and release. Just ask the Lord that in the meantime I will remain faithful, dignifying the trial, until he signs the executive order.