Let’s Chat About Physical Suffering

Have you ever faced a life-altering physical injury or illness? If so, let’s chat! 

Here’s a few questions to get the conversation going. Choose your favorite, and leave a response in the comments (I’ll share a few of my answers too). You’ll  automatically receive an email notification when someone responds to your comment!

–> What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in dealing with a new illness/injury? 

–> What questions have you struggled with about responding to physical suffering?

–> Has anyone’s life inspired and encouraged you through your suffering?

–> What verses or attributes of God have been a special comfort to you?

–> How have you grown through your suffering?


Let’s get talking!


How do you know the best way to respond?
By knowing God’s Word! Read it with me this week:

Tuesday: 1 Kings 4-6, Psalm 78:40-72
Wednesday: 1 Kings 7-9, Psalm 79
Thursday: 1 Kings 10-12, Psalm 80
Friday: 1 Kings 13-15, Psalm 81
Saturday: 1 Kings 16-19, Psalm 82
Sunday: 1 Kings 20-22, Psalm 83
Monday: reflection or catch-up


16 thoughts on “Let’s Chat About Physical Suffering

  1. When I was a camp counsellor, a camper pulled out my chair from under me as I went to sit down. I landed hard on the cement, and popped a disk in my back. I have had issues with my lower back since then. I actually went through a period of daily back pain for 9 months when I had 2 little boys running around. I was laid up in bed on a regular basis.
    Sometimes I do wonder why God allowed that bratty little teenager to mess up my back forever. Just being honest here.=) But, then I also realize, knowing this about my back, and being periodically warned to take it easy by my chiropractor, has forced me to carve quiet rest periods into my days. When I am flat on my back it reminds me of my need for God and people. It is hard to feel helpless, but people have been gracious to help me when I really need it.

    1. I think sometimes it’s hardest when your suffering is specifically caused by another person – as in your case, or someone who shares a virus that leads to complications, etc. Learning to rest is a good thing, though, that can be hard for us to actually stop and DO. It’s great to hear how God has used something painful to bless you with something good like that. 🙂

  2. One of my own biggest challenges has been not being afraid to live. I get worried about adding responsibilities or trying to improve my well-being because, what if I do flare-up? I’ll lose all that progress I’ve made, have to back out of commitments… And yet, I can’t be lazy. I can’t be self-centered. It’s a constant battle to know how much to push my limitations, and how much to accept them as God-given boundaries on my life right now. It’s a constant learning curve.

  3. One of my biggest challenges with CFS and Fibro, has been others not understanding how these illnesses affect my life, although I am getting better about that. I now understand, that unless these illnesses have affected them personally, there is no way that they will understand my need for taking care of myself and not having them taking it personal when I can not do everything that they want to do or ask me to do. It so easy to get hung up on what others think and at times I still struggle with that. I am working on trying to find a balance in what I can do without pushing too far..as my illness has the rebound effect. Overdo and I pay for it for 2-3 days.

    1. The whole “not taking it personally” can be rather challenging sometimes, especially when it’s close loved ones who do something hurtful out of simple ignorance. They just simply won’t understand until they’ve lived through it too. I find it helps to remember that GOD knows my struggles, my needs, my fears — He fashioned me very particularly, and even when nobody else understands, He certainly does and He can comfort me in a way no one else ever could.

    2. Oh, and I’m constantly struggling with the balance/rebound issue. It seems like I just get used to one “normal” and things change and I have to go through it all over again! 🙂

  4. A car accident in 2000 did a number on my back. After almost a year in treatment, my doctor released me, however I still have problems from time to time. It can be incredibly frustrating to be feeling fine one day and get a lot of stuff done (yard work, cleaning, anything active) and then hurt for the next couple days. I hate taking the prescription pain meds because of the side effects, but sometimes that is my only option to get some relief. It has helped that I have a good friend with back problems, so when mine flair up and I am getting really frustrated, I can call her and she understands. She so sweetly reminds me that maybe God is saying “Stop. Be still.” It has also made me very aware of when others are having a hard time (physically, mentally, emotionally) that sometimes it just takes someone listening to help. You may not be able to change the problem, but you can share it, and sometimes that is a big help.

    1. Listening is a great way to help bear each others’ burdens! Thanks, sis. 🙂

  5. I suffer from frequent and sometimes debilitating headaches as a result of severe allergies and asthma. I also have experienced some other physical maladies, one of which went without diagnosis for months (turned out it was just malaria). My favorite verses for such times of suffering are these:
    2 Corinthians 1:3-5

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
    Sometimes it helps just to know that suffering can serve a purpose. I wrote an article on this recently – http://confidentingrace.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/faithful-friend-or-critical-chrisitan/. It’s a difficult situation when you’re suffering physically because it also affects you spiritually and mentally. Elizabeth, I like what you said about how it’s hard to find the balance between taking care of yourself and being self-centered. I still struggle with that one sometimes! 🙂

    1. Jen, I just went over and read your post. That was such an encouragement! Mind if I share it around? I think it would be a great blessing to many others too. Thank you!

  6. When I was first diagnosed and scared beyond belief at this disease I had never heard of, and I had no idea what the future held, I began reading through Exodus because I knew I faced a long journey ahead and I knew that if I didn’t put my faith in the same God who led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promised land, I would never make it out of the wilderness, out of the fear.

    1. I never thought of that comparison, but I love it!

  7. Hi Elizabeth! Over the past year, I’ve been dealing with a chronic illness that is not debilitating but does cause internal pain. It’s caused me to review my diet and I’ve made many many necessary changes, most of which have been challenging. I’ve resented this trial at times but in moments I’ve been thankful that the Lord has used this situation to draw me closer to His side. Job 23 has been such a blessing of a chapter for me and it is my prayer that I will daily treasure the words of His mouth more than my necessary food 🙂 I’ve had to really search my heart to see how I could respond to the Lord if all was stripped away. It’s been a humbling experience. Thanks for your blog and looking forward to reading your book!

    1. I forgot to add that I blogged about some of what the Lord is teaching me about pain ans suffering here: http://fanciedfreedom.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/learning-about-lifes-pain-from-the-hibiscus/. Thanks! Kim

    2. So sorry to hear about the dietary issues you’ve been having. No, maybe not debilitating, but certainly frustrating and painful! I hope they’ve improved with your changes? I’m heading over to read your blog post now. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

      1. Thanks Elizabeth!, Yes, the changes have helped some but I think it will be a slow-going process that will definitely be more permanent in my life than temporary. However, I know the Lord is leading me down this path as some of these dietary changes are also the result of food strongholds and even addictions. It’s amazing how much He can change us through pain and suffering, even though there are days I’d prefer not to go through this and just be like the majority of people and eat whatever I want. But I’m trusting Him more than what my eyes can see 🙂

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