Saturday, May 16, 2009

None Calls on Thee In Vain*

The clock says 4:00 a.m. The pain in my neck extends up over my skull like a vice. I've taken Tylenol, shouldn't it be lessening by now? My mind flits through all the reasons for pain - a head cold, the recent surgery, brain tumor...

Okay that's taking it a bit too far, but one never knows. :-)

and my one friend that never lets me get away with being too negative is sure to call me on that little paranoia...

I change position and lay my head on a different pillow, massage the base of my skull and quietly call on the name of Jesus to deliver me from this excruciating pain. I think of those who live with chronic pain. My pain pales in comparison. What endurance they must exhibit. I feel a great deal of sympathy rise, knowing if I have to endure this pain for much longer ...

The clock says 10:50 a.m. Wow. My head doesn't hurt. A little rest, a little sleep, a little deliverance...

Clement of Alexandria c. 200 penned these words: "While in our mortal pain, none calls on thee in vain; help thou dost not disdain, help from above."

The help we receive is not always for immediate relief from our mortal pain. Sometimes, though, I believe God allows pain in order to turn our hearts to himself; to remind us that he is our shepherd, the all subduing word, healer of strife: "Thou didst thyself abase that from sin's deep disgrace thou mightest save our race and give us life."

Life means more than just living free from mortal pain. It means knowing that he is our guide, our pride, our song, the Christ of God, who by his eternal word will lead us where he has trod and will make our faith strong.

Perhaps a little headache is a good thing - and a God thing.

*most of these thoughts are taken from "Shepherd of Eager Youth" translated by Henry M. Dexter

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your personal struggle, and the reference to the hymn by Clement of Alexandria.

    As a hymnologist, I have to smile sometimes when folks talk to me about a great "old" hymn, and I know that it was written about 20 or 30 years ago. But this one is really old--from about 18 centuries ago!

    If you enjoy learning a bit about the history of our hymns, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns. God bless.