Monday, March 14, 2011

Why does God bring me pain?

Searching for the illusive
iPad app to cure PD!
Hi there.  Remember me?

Sorry for not posting for a while... I just could not seem to rally the brain power needed... (oh, I really tried about 3 weeks ago... and produced nothing worth sharing...)

Here's an update...
OHSU will not drill my head and put in the DBS and battery, so we are headed north three times over the next two months... because Seattle's Swedish Medical Center hopefully will.

However, the stressful delay with OHSU has been tough... Last Friday, I had an MRI done to determine the cause of my stabbing back pain... well, I'm the proud new owner of an advanced case of Cervical Stenosis.  In a professional "glad I don't have what you have" way, the doctor let me know that there is more and more pain to look forward to.

I've taken a turn for the worse in almost every area... more immobilizing pain, reduced ability to talk or be understood... seldom sleep more than 2 hours in a row... meds now have smaller windows of effectiveness (called "on" periods.)  When "on", I can have the worst involuntary movements... which makes it almost impossible to do anything needing fine motor skills (like typing)... battling a sense of worthlessness, yet hoping with all my might in God... here is a two minute video showing why this post has taken about 12 hours to produce...

Despite what I've LOST, I continue to GAIN so much more!

LOSS: I've lost 45 lbs (a "six-pack" on
my body means 6 ribs are bulging!)
GAIN: I've noticed a stronger desire to have
God's approval, and less of man's... 
LOSS: I've lost much of my ability to organize
causes, to lead and direct  people.
GAIN: I now have more time
to both lead and serve my
wonderful wife and children.
LOSS: I no longer can depend on my
"excellent" communication skills...
for at a moments notice my
thinking can become foggy and
 my speech choppy or slurred.
GAIN: I've had more time to pray
for many of you... and to look to God

for both insight and strength... then, to listen,
ponder, and then listen again... hopefully to gain 
wisdom and understanding into what's truly important.
Why does God bring me pain?
"So Merv," you ask... "all that loss/gain stuff is good positive thinking, but, really... why does God bring you suffering and pain?" 

Neither you or I may ever completely understand why suffering exists... I know suffering overall has been good for me in so many ways (as mentioned in previous posts.)  It's a long study... but here a glimpse into what helps me see a little clearer...
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies." 2 Cor 4:7-10 
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor 4:16-18
What about You...
Ultimately, I hope that what you see through my suffering is the light that Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5:
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
If my continuing life story points you to consider where your personal standing is with Jesus... then my suffering has a very important purpose for you, does it not?  Especially, if the bible is true, and Jesus is who he says he (which I both fully believe)... then, it's not really about me, is it? 
"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God." 2 Cor 4:15
"For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened... but... He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always of good courage... we walk by faith, not by sight"
2 Cor 5:6,7
"And without faith it is not possible to be well-pleasing to him, for it is necessary for anyone who comes to God to have the belief that God is, and that he is a rewarder of all those who make a serious search for him." Heb 11:6
How long has it been since you cracked open a bible... is there a heaven, is there a hell, who is Jesus, what is true faith and why does it matter?  I'd gladly suffer the rest of my life if it causes you to find out... START HERE.


  1. Merv, you have great faith because you have a faithful God. I praise His persevering strength in your life. It is a glorious gain when you can say "then, it's not really about me, is it?" Merv I praise God that you have made it clear that this is all about Jesus. You are strong, brave, and an incredible example of gaining Christ in a world of loss and suffering. Thank you for shining for Jesus our King and Savior.

  2. Merv you are such an inspiration. I want you to know that I pray for you daily.
    Keep looking for the matter how hard they seem to find.
    If even one person comes to know the Lord through what you are is worth it.

    Would love to give you a great big hug!

  3. Love you Merv, Thanks for meeting with me last week. You were a great encouragement to me. Thanks for hanging in there for me and for Christ...