The Face of Pain

I had an unsettling morning, waking only to toss and turn rather than feel refreshed.  In my  mind, I was so thankful that nothing was on my calendar for the day.  I could take a day to listen to my body and rest, all day if necessary.  A couple hours later my husband appeared, asking if I could follow him to take the van to get repairs.  My heart sank.  There went my day of rest.  It’s not like it would take long, but on these days, the simple act of getting dressed is a chore.

Regardless of my chronic pain, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am called to be a servant.  It is crucial for me to be in close fellowship with the Lord in order to maintain a balance in this area of my life. The same is true of all believers. There will be moments He calls us to serve and seasons He may have us refuse.  Clearly, my commitment to my husband is a higher priority than it would be to someone else.  It was my preference to stay home, but God had other plans for me today.  Perhaps He wanted me to see the point which I am trying to share with you right now.

As I was driving down the road, following my husband, I became aware of a scowl on my face.  Not the first time I’ve detected this, or will it be the last, I’m sure.  I wonder what others think when they see this scowl.  Do they presume I’m angry?  I would hope an angry scowl looks different from a painful one, but some people probably aren’t that discerning.  What God was asking of me at this moment was to examine my heart.  Yes, I was definitely in pain, but I was also not in the best mood, considering my plans for the day had been shot.

How many times does God need to show me that I need to give Him each day?  Not in an overall, “I will live for You all of my days” sort of way, but an actual giving of it to Him each morning, a sacrifice of my plans in preference to His.  I did not seek Him this morning, but I was aware of the battle at hand as soon as my husband asked for my help.  We are such selfish creatures, aren’t we?

I am thankful that on the trip there, I was driving alone rather than riding along with my husband.  This enabled me to work out my heart issues before sharing space with him on the return trip.  My pain didn’t change, but my face did.  It didn’t require me to don a fake smile and ignore my physical struggle.  He knew it was there.  God knew it was there.  But giving my plans to the Lord gave me an internal peace that took away the scowl on my face.  In the past I would have wanted my husband, or anyone else, to see that scowl so they would know they had inconvenienced me.  Like I said, it was all about me.

I encourage you to examine your face today.  What is in your heart is more than likely also on your face.  We are called to do everything “to the glory of God.”  How does one go about being in pain to the glory of God?  Investigate the heart.  Once it is in line with God’s purposes for the day, the face will no longer dishonor Him.  It will reveal our true heart, one that once again is in line with God’s.

What is on your heart (face) today?

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