A few weeks ago as I was watching a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, I noticed the warm wind blowing and realized that I was not in pain. Over the years, you begin to notice a pattern when you deal with chronic pain. There are certain triggers that make our pain worse. This does not apply to chronic physical pain only, but to those who suffer from chronic emotional pain as well, which I will admit that I have dealt with also. Depression, like a chronic pain condition has it’s own triggers; but I will save that for another time.
One of the triggers that I have noticed over the past few years, one that seems to cause me the most pain, is wind. There are many who acknowledge that the weather affects those who suffer from chronic pain adversely; and I do notice that the weather can affect my pain level. However, the days that I have felt the most pain are on those very windy days.
Most people don’t think of the wind as a bad thing. Unless it’s the strong wind of a hurricane or tornado, or the biting wind of winter; most view the wind as I used to. Our home is built on a hill in the middle of a valley and when we first moved here, I cherished our location because of the almost constant wind that blows. It almost always provides cool relief from the summer heat. In the Fall, I loved to see the wind blow through the colorful leaves or watch them blow like tumbleweeds across the lawn. Even in Winter, when the wind howled and blew snow like sand across a desert, it was a reminder to me of the greatness of God and made me grateful to have a roof over my head.
After I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, it took a long time for me to make the correlation between my pain and the wind. I was never one to be afraid of the howling wind on a stormy night, even though I have seen the devastation that a tornadic wind can do. I know where the wind comes from and believe that you can hear God’s still small voice in the wind if you listen. My view changed as the duration of my pain increased and I understood that the most pain I experienced was on windy days. It could be ninety degrees outside and clear as a bell; but if it was windy, I was in pain. Stormy days, those were the worst and it became difficult to hear God’s voice sometimes.
My pain masked His voice often, when I was focused on it and not on Him. Sometimes I allowed my pain to be an excuse for my bad attitude or my sharp tongue. However, sometimes in the midst of suffering, when we let go, we can feel His arms around us the strongest and hear his voice the clearest. When we let go of the physical, the emotional, the mental and just let God be who He is. To be completely honest there were fewer of those moments than I would like to admit. I failed often, to give up my physical pain and give Him reign, but those times that I did allow His voice to be heard, sustained me.
Even though I am now in less physical pain; I still have those times, those windy days that cause me grief. Although I am not bed-ridden on those days as before, they are a reminder to me of the days past. I am so grateful to God for this current relief I am feeling from my physical pain and will be, until the day it passes. I hope that I never forget those days where pain was bending me like a palm in a hurricane and that I can continue to rejoice in whatever suffering comes my way.
As I was watching the sun rise over the ocean and I realized the warm wind that was blowing was not causing me pain, I was listening to some worship music in one ear and the waves crashing against the sand in the other. I’m not sure if it was because I was worshiping God or if it was just that the wind was a warm ocean breeze, but God spoke to me all the same. “For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth-the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!” (Amos 4:13 ESV). There were two older worship songs that I heard that morning, both by the same artist…Coincidence? I don’t believe so. As I watched the sun rise over the horizon, inch by inch, the song “Everything Glorious” was playing in my ear. “The day is brighter here with you…YOU make everything glorious. And I am yours!” and as I walked slowly back toward the city, “How He Loves Us”, “loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy”. Oh, How He loves us!