IT’S THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
It’s wrenching enough. But it’s made even more so for me because it comes from a friend.
Here’s the question I got on Friday from Nancy L.
“Why does God seem to allow His people to suffer? Even when He sees they are really struggling and at the end of their rope? There are so many times I am so discouraged, I wish I could just die and be done with it!”
I’ve known Nancy since the 1970’s, when I was still living with my parents back in Akron, Ohio—some 800 miles from my Kansas City-area home today.
Nancy is in her mid-50s.
I got an earlier note from her a few weeks ago. It was her response to another person’s comment about some health struggles.
“I, too, am struggling. I have chronic pancreatitis. I am in pain daily. It took 5 years and 24 doctors to give my pain a name. I was out of pain for several years, and then I moved to a new city. The only pain management doctors in the area do not like pain pumps (a pump implanted into the abdomen to administer pain medication in small doses 24/7). So he removed it. The pain is back. I just had my oral pain meds increased. I have other health issues. I just don’t understand why. Wish it would end.”
I’ve been getting a lot of comments and questions lately about suffering. Most folks want to know why God is a do-nothing who lets us suffer on and on.
Others, like my Ohio friend, say they’ve had it. They can’t take it anymore. They want to die.
My wife’s a nurse. So I paused in writing this long enough to go downstairs and talk with her.
I told her that Nancy has pancreatitis.
My wife’s face scrunched as she said, “Oh. Pancreatitis is very painful.”
I said, “The doc took her pain pump away. What should she do?”
“Find a doctor who will give her the pain pump.”
Nancy, park the spiritual part of your question on the Back Forty. Forget it for now.
Deal with the physical part of your question.
I speak to you as a friend, in a tone I wouldn’t use for other people who ask Bible Questions of the Week: Nancy, get your butt to another doctor.
You shouldn’t have to suffer through a pain marathon that goes on and on—long enough that you want to quit the race and kick your own bucket.
Kick your doctor’s bucket instead. Fire his fanny.
If his receptionist calls for a follow up and asks for Nancy L., just say, “Oh, she’s dead. She died putting a curse on some doctor who refused to give her a pain pump. Have a nice day.”
Nancy, I know where you live. There might not be any pain management centers in your neighborhood. But there are good ones within an hour’s drive. Cleveland Clinic is the most famous. It’s a solid hospital in a part of the country with great Polish sausage.
There are ones even closer. I’ve Googled some in Akron and Barberton.
Let me know if you need help finding someone. If you’ve got transportation problems, heck Nancy, we can work through that.
Don’t be messing with theological questions about why God does want he does and why he doesn’t what he doesn’t.
Not when you’re drowning in pain.
Instead of asking God what in the dickens is going on and why he’s sitting on his thumbs, thank him.
Thank him for docs who specialize in pain management and for Google to help you find a good one.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to laugh,
And a time to do drugs.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 3 NKJV, STEVE
Just say yes.