Questions: Discouragement

Hey folks, every Thursday on my blog I take questions from you. They can be personal questions, questions about faith, theology, whatever you have on your mind. You can submit questions on this thread or if you want to remain anonymous you can email me at

Today’s question comes from Rachel who says:

I have been disabled due to lymphedema since 2005. I deal with chronic pain and depression daily. I asked God for help and guidance with this condition. I get two steps ahead and then I get a cold or flu and end up with a leg infection (cellulitis) and I end up taking ten steps back. I do what the doctors tell me. I have lost over 100 lbs closer to 150 lbs, and I keep my leg wrapped 24/7, take my medicine but I still dont get any relief from this problem. I am unable to exercise due to not being able to wear a shoe. I do chair exercises but I need more. I get so discouraged and lose faith in God and I know that is wrong, but sometimes my discouragement gets the best of me.

I empathize with your pain Rachel, sometimes in life we seem to be to be hit with bad luck all at once, and then we go to God in prayer and we ask for relief and none comes. SO we are left seemingly on our own trying to get by the best that we can, searching for any relief that we might be able to find and doing what we can to enjoy life.

Over the last several years I myself have dealt with conditions of varying degrees that have caused me some pain and suffering. I’ve had dizzy spells that have lasted months, chronic shoulder pain and an anxiety condition that makes me fear the absolute worst things in life. Like a lot of people these conditions as I deal with them are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep. It’s  not easy and anyone who would dare say that living with chronic conditions like lymphedema is easy or that we should just tough it out has obviously never had a condition like this themselves.

So what do we do when we get discouraged by this> When we cry out to GOd and he seems to not hear us and he doesn’t lift a finger to heal us?

Rachel first of all, I thought of you when I wrote my post earlier this week on the laments in the bible, check out that post I think it will help. The thing is you are not alone, many of the key biblical figures that we read about dealt with pain, anxiety, grief, Even those that we would think had a direct line to God wondered where he was and why he deserted them(read Psalm 22) We read about healing in the bible and we tend to think that it was a common occurrence but in the scheme of things it really wasn’t. For every invalid that Jesus healed there were thousands more who were left in their afflictions. Healing and miracles are rare occurrences, they are meant to show the great glory of God. Most of us won’t be healed and even if we are healed from one thing or another we will still get sick enough or injured enough that we will eventually die. That’s the harsh reality in our broken world.

It’s easy to allow that to discourage us but I have been learning things that have encouraged me instead of discouraging me. Because I believe that I am learning lessons from the very pain that I deal with, lessons that I would otherwise never be able to learn.

The life that I have lived for the last 35 years has in many ways broken my heart. I’ve had dreams that have been unfulfilled I’ve lost people that I have loved and I’ve dealt with pain and mental illness. Part of me wants relief from all of this, to live a life in this world that is happy where I make money and I have kids and I work doing things I love but what I’ve learned is that all of these things pale in comparison to the richness that can only be had through intimacy with God through Jesus. If I can experience peace there than it doesn’t matter what this world throws at me. So I believe that God has allowed me to go through pain so that the idols I’ve chased after in this life could be broken. That my need for just a good life and for happiness would be surpassed for my deepest longing and need which is the God who could give me that life. The first aim of this life isn’t to be a good person, it’s not to be rich or to be happy, it’s not even salvation, salvation is what gives us the chance to enter into the first aim of this life which is simply to enjoy God and allow him the chance to enjoy us.

I’d love for you to read a book  I recently finished Rachel it’s called Shattered Dreams it’s by Larry Crabb, it deals with this exact subject matter and if you need a copy let me know and I will send one right out to you.

I hope this has encouraged you and I join with you in praying for a relief from your pain, but until that happens let it draw you closer to God because he loves you and thinks you are amazing.







1 Comment

  1. Mike your words touched my heart in more ways than you will ever imagine. I know for a fact your music is your dream and how you want to take your life with, but I really believe you would make a fine Pastor or Christian counselor. Keep your mind open to where ever God may lead. Thank for showing me how much God is really there for me and I will send you my address in a private message because I would really like to read that book. Thanks again, Rachel

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