My husband and I spent about 11 hours on the road yesterday sending our oldest son back to school. The drive down was okay; we hit a few spots of lake-effect snow, but they were short-lived. The bonus was no hint of a migraine all the way down. We dropped our son off at his dorm, gave him a hug and I sat back in the car and almost immediately felt a migraine coming on fast and strong. I took my medicine right away, but the migraine continued to build. No matter what I did - steroid, 2nd dose of migraine medicine, food, caffine, ginger - this migraine intended to build to horrible pain. My evening included about 6 hours in the car of terrible pain and another hour and half at home in terrible pain before I could finally sleep in pain. There is a diagnosis for that kind of migraine - intractable migraine. That means it is too stubborn and strong to let any medicine help.
My journey with chronic migraine has been one wrought with disappointment. There have been several disappointments in treatments that only kind of work but the side effects are enormous. There have been several natural remedies tried and failed. There have been attempts with remedies not covered by insurance like chiropractor and massage only to fail. There have been hopes of progress by having a really good week only to be followed by a really bad week. But I have learned that I need to keep trying; I need to keep going. And I am certainly going to keep asking God for healing even though I've dealt with the disappointment of continued pain.
This disappointment makes me think of the story of John the Baptist while he was in prison. Jesus had been performing many miracles while John the Baptist was in prison. When John heard what was happening, he sent for two men to talk to Jesus. Please use this link to read Luke 7:18-28. There are interesting things going on here. First, John almost seems to have a wavering of faith when he asked, "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or are you someone else?" I say this because he declared him the One they've been expecting when he baptized him. But Jesus' answer might seem a little strange on the surface because He mentioned signs found in Isaiah 61 and 42 he had fulfilled. Those chapters in Isaiah also say He would free prisoners and John the Baptist hadn't been freed. I wonder if that was where John needed some clarification because Jesus ended with His message to him with, "Blessed are those who do not stumble on account of me."
What could that mean? I believe Jesus was giving Him the reminder of who He was. Even more importantly, Jesus was letting Him know that our individual expectations of how Jesus should work isn't necessarily the way He is going to work. When we can trust Him through those times, we are promised blessing. In this case, we can see there was a literal freedom of prisoners for the Israelites in the Old Testament; however, we also receive freedom through Jesus from other things like eternal death, sin, fear, and other chains keeping us prisoners.
So what are my current blessings that I know were from God last night even though there wasn't the immediate healing I know with all my heart God could have given me? First was the blessing of finding a fast-casual restaurant that had freshly made chicken broth promised with no migraine aggrivating ingredients. And that good broth was filled with fresh veggies and included celery and kale, which help my migraines. I was even able to have them put fresh ginger in it, which often helps my migraines! They had non-soda caffinated drinks like apple cider green tea. My wonderful husband delayed our trip to take care of these for me. I was blessed with my husband softly playing worship songs on a Christian station keeping my focus on better things. I was blessed with anti-nausea medicine that worked.
We face disappointment in life and sometimes that disappointment comes from God not performing the way we would like Him to perform. In those times, we need to look at what God is doing rather than what He isn't. I say that because God is always doing something and the end result will be better even if we don't see it now. Still having trouble focusing on what God is doing? Here is a song that blessed me greatly in my pain last night that may be a help to you. It is "No Longer Slaves" by Jonathan and Melissa Helser. You can watch their video here.
Our bondage isn't always seen. Sometimes the work He is doing is freeing us from an unseen chain that is bigger than the freedom we think we need. No matter what is happening, if we have declared Jesus our Savior, we can rest in the amazing freedom He gave us from our sin. We can declare, "I am a child of God!"