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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 277 - Pain, Grace and Glory

It's been quite a week, and Barbara has said that she doesn't understand how I can navigate this much pain.

To be honest, I'm to the point where I can't, either. The old moto sayings like, "I'm tougher than any hurt!" ring really hollow now, and the fallback of the metaphorical shrug which says, "Well, what choice is there?" is essentially meaningless.

And yes, were it possible I'd turn to narcotics to dull this. But it's not a financial possibility, and neither is it a good choice from an overall health standpoint. (First, narcotics famously slow down digestion, which is the last hing I need, and second, PTSD and oxycodone, etc., really don't mix.)

The only answer I can see is a simple one: I make it through from one minute to the next through God's Grace.

It took awhile, but I realized that God made the world round so we couldn't see too far ahead. When I try to imagine the increase in pain and discomfort (and humiliation), it's daunting and discouraging beyond belief...but the point is that projecting forward like that is stupid.

That part of the road will come, and all I can see of it is a mirage, fixed by the lenses of imagination and fear.

Today is all I have. The horizon is a lot closer; I just need to get there.

And what of Glory? In Christian practice, our lives are supposed to glorify God...that is, to be a witness to His absolute Wisdom and Mercy.

How can pain do that? Sure, endurance may be impressive, but it's a reach to call suffering a 'glorification'. It comes a bit too close to the old shibboleth that 'suffering is good for the soul'.

But there is glorification to be exercised, and it's how we approach each day.

It's in the encouragement we give others, because we believe that God cares, and is weeping for us in our trials.

It's in the hopes and dreams we nurture through the really bad days, not so much in the expectation that they'll be met and fulfilled, but that they are literally God-given, and that they mean something in the larger scheme of the relationship between Him and me...and that they can be an inspiration to others.

It's my willingness to walk in the world for God, and for His Values.

He didn't promise me a rose garden; the fate of His Son and those who immediately followed Him puts paid to that idea quite quickly.

He promised us a Cross.

And, if we chose to carry it to our own private Calvaries, eternal life.

A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. Thanks, Andrew. I guess courage is contagious, because I gain some whenever I visit here.

    1. Michele, thank you so much; I am truly humbled by the grace in your words.

  2. I cannot begin to image the burden of physical pain you are describing. How much more your statement of 'carrying our cross' means, when coupled with your experience. Thank you for digging deep and choosing to carry that cross with His help. Prayers from Inspire Me Monday!

    1. Carol, I would hate for you to know what this is like! I pray that you never have to, and we so deeply appreciate your prayers.

  3. Thank you for sharing your very hard life with us. Your words give me strength and courage. Praying for grace for you and Barbara today.

    1. Rachel, I'm honoured and humbled; thank you so much.

      And we thank you so very much for your prayers. You are in ours.

  4. Glory is what shows something - or Someone - is worthy of praise. Grace is what someone does just because they love you. Eternity isn't time that goes on forever and never stops, it's completely outside of time and space. I know you don't feel like God is giving you much grace even though you continue to praise Him, but when you step into eternity you'll appreciate how much He's used you to inspire others.

    1. Jan, you're so right - 'eternity' isn't a time, it's a place. Completely outside everything we know, except for what we know of God's Grace in this life.

      I actually feel more blessed than I can possibly say; while I'd rather skip the pain and despair that go with illness, I would not trade it for the perspective...and for all of those out there who have (to me, a miracle) taken heart from my words.

      Dear Jan...I wouldn't change a thing. I'm where I'm supposed to be.

  5. Andrew, you do bring glory to God in how you're walking this out. The way you encourage others, share truth as you learn it, and bring life and courage through your words? Definitely glorifying God. You seem to have made your journey about ministering to others. That is inspiring. I can't tell you how many times your words have challenged me in how I view God and have ministered to my heart. Thank you for that.

    I'm praying for you, Barb, and the dogs, my friend.

    1. Oh, Jeanne, thank you for this! Today's been a rough one, and your gracious words are a balm.

      In the end, yeah, it's all about service. To others, through this medium, and to the dogs and Barbara, in person. The hopes and dreams I had for myself were merely service and mission, in disguise.

      And thank you so much for the prayers! We truly appreciate them.

  6. I'm so sorry that you continue to suffer pain that I'm sure none of us can even imagine, except for Christ. I hope that you feel Him comforting you in your suffering, Andrew. Weeping with you, most certainly as well. That might be the best painkiller of them all. My prayers continue to lift for you daily and you are often in my thoughts and prayers as I go about my day too.

    1. Beth, I sure do feel Him comforting me...and something else, too. The more pain I experience, the deeper the well of love in my heart becomes. I would not want anyone, not even those who did the worst things to me, to experience this. I would shield them from it if I could, and perhaps this is the beginning of loving one's enemies.

      I so appreciate the prayers, my friend!

  7. I've been lacking...in reading your blog; in reading anyone's blog...and in writing my own! But, I missed keeping up with my friend...Andrew, I think of life as one day at a time; that's how I try to get through my day to day activities and experiences. I cannot imagine the pain and situation that you are in where you reach out for just one minute at a time! God's Grace...where WOULD we be without His Grace!

    My hugs and thoughts and prayers continue for you and Barb...thank you for sharing, as alwasy!