Tag Archives: memories

Does God Heal Chronic Fatigue?

tn_dove.jpgDivine Healing has been the subject of many books, periodicals, journals and essays and written from the whole gamut of viewpoints. I am not even attempting to go into this, I leave that to the theologians and biblical scholars. But with my wife suffering from an incurable chronic illness and then I am diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome – CFS/ME/CFIDS – with no complete medical cure, it sharpens things up and makes things much more personal. With my ‘back to the wall’ I have been desperate for answers and I looked to God for the solution.

I’ve been a Christian for many years. For some of the time I have struggled and have even been rebellious, especially in situations where it felt like I was being dragged by my hair through a hedge backwards. Even so, I have long believed in a God who heals. The Bible tells me so and this has been born out by what I have seen for myself. I have witnessed others being healed instantly and also experienced minor and gradual examples within our family.

I have long believed that healing was all part of the ‘salvation package.’ But I came to accept that you can’t receive the gift without receiving the Giver, and He has an interest in the whole of me – body, soul and spirit – He doesn’t split me up into compartments. I would love an immediate miraculous release and have been prayed for a number of times, but I believe that on the whole it is a gradual process, a journey of love. Right from the start, once I had tasted that love, I longed for more, it was something I needed. However, even though it comes without price, it costs and takes all I have.

If there was some wonder pill or food that I could take for an instant cure, I would probably be the first in line for it. I’ve always been the one to look for the quick escape. But circumstances have forced me to go ‘through’ and not hide from the difficult issues, emotional pain and troublesome memories long swept under the carpet where they fester away. As I have learned to face these things with Father, I have realised a greater degree of personal freedom and gradual emotional and physical healing.

I feel that many physical illnesses, especially auto-immune conditions like chronic fatigue can have an emotional and spiritual root cause and dealing with these is at least part of the solution. This doesn’t mean that I discount lifestyle issues, eating sensibly and carefully or even taking vitamin supplements. I have tried following a rigid diet regime, but this did not show results and tended to take over my life. Anything that can threaten to take over the love relationship that I am totally committed to, I am wary of.

So I am on the way and I am changing. I just cannot tell God how or when He is to heal me of course. If Jesus can restore a man’s hearing by spitting on his tongue and another’s sight by rubbing mud in his eyes, I need to be open to what He sends my way. I am expectant for more, much more. Some of the symptoms have gone and I am stronger. I still long to be fully healed, whatever that means, but I trust Father who knows what he is doing. I have a greater longing that has become my life.

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Filed under Christian, Christianity, chronic fatigue, disability, healing, health, health & wellness, illness, Jesus, lifestyle, M.E., personal, spiritual

A Surprise Victory

tn_lake.jpgI sat in a deserted seaside parking lot. My wife was taking part in a reunion and I was left to my own devices. I was in to my second year with CFS, my fatigue level was average to high – at least three out of a maximum five – and I wondered what I had the strength to do?

I eased myself out of the car, slowly crossed the road and was transfixed by this ‘jewel!’ A large lake or ‘mere’ – as they say in those parts – nearly a mile long, tree-fringed with an island in the centre. The unbroken mirrored surface shimmered in the early autumn sunshine, inviting, everywhere quiet, not a soul about. Tidily moored up to a deserted jetty, old traditional clinker-built rowing boats, just waiting to be taken out.

I have a love of boats and water, ever since my father taught me to row on our local river as a boy, so my heart longed to be out there. But my head doubted whether rowing was the right action for a fatigued body. I paced back and forth debating and my heart won. A surly young man untied my selected craft and I cast off.

Gently, ever so gently, so as to make the least claim on my limited energy, I dipped the oars in now and again to gain momentum as we slid away from land. Resisting the temptation to pull with force, I continued at an almost effortless pace, feathering my oars on the return stroke like a professional.

After a few minutes I shipped the oars and listened. I, man and boy, enthralled with the experience! You could almost hear the silence, which was only broken by a flock of coots. Reluctantly I made to return, but took my time, determined to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of the half-hour hire.

It’s hard to explain to someone with normal energy what that experience meant to me. But I stepped out of the boat as if I was Captain Horatio Hornblower or Captain ‘lucky’ Jack Aubrey himself – of “Captain and Commander” fame – to the applause of the gathered crowds. It was a brilliant victory! “I’m proud of you son!”

Back in the car I was full of gratitude towards God, for arranging and enabling. Yes, I did suffer a minor relapse for a two or three weeks afterwards. Not sure whether it was the rowing or something else, but it didn’t matter. No one can take that achievement and memory away from me.

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Healing Memories from the Woodshed

The Carpenter and the Glue Pot

tn_carpenter.jpg Childhood memories can effect our lives as adults – this is one of the better ones.

My father wasn’t a demonstrative man, nor was he given over to emotion or displays of affection. Some of the times I felt closest to him were when he was in his woodshed. This was a modest weather-boarded, felt-roofed lean-to in our back yard. Often, if he found that things got too ‘hot’ for comfort in the house he would escape there. He would close the door of his refuge and immerse himself in the latest project. It was one of the places where he was at his happiest.

As a small boy, I regarded it as a man’s place. It was somewhere away from the women of the house and where you didn’t have to worry about a bit of dirt. I would love to watch him, perhaps creating an item of furniture in oak, skilfully handling his old wooden jack plane. Curls of shavings would cascade over the bench and floor. Occasionally he would pause to instruct me how to check for line and square. His large hands would guide and steady mine as I cast my ‘expert’ eye along the length of timber. These were special times for me. Father and son – a ‘chip off the old block’ – together.

It was like an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of treasures to me. The tools of his trade adorned the walls – saws of all kinds, spokeshaves, bradawls, pincers… a rack of chisels sharpened and oiled ready for use. The patina of the old handles of ash or beech gave out a comforting glow in the light from the small window.

In the corner, a cast iron glue pot simmered away. These were the days before pva or resin adhesives. This was scotch glue, made from animal bones. It came in dark honey-coloured slabs or pearl-like beads. These were melted down with boiling water. The resultant hot sticky goo was satisfyingly applied to the joints with a brush. The pungent odour mingled with the sweet smell of sawdust and wood shavings. An unforgettable experience to rival that of freshly mown grass or the new leather of satchels on my first day of school.

He wasn’t just a good carpenter, but a Jack-Of-All-Trades. A hob iron and box of leather strips stood ready for repairing the family’s shoes, a valve radio needing attention or a broken toy requiring loving care. Some things however got him beat as one box contained old discarded clocks beyond repair. Lengths of timber hung from the roof, oak, mahogany, ramin and pine, salvaged from old furniture or buildings, waiting for an appropriate use. The real treasure trove was the bottom drawer of the bench. It was crammed with fascinating but mainly useless items and bits and bobs, kept ‘just in case!’

These are very good healing memories for me – something to savour. You can’t choose your memories of course. I had to allow them to come, good or bad. Is there really such a thing as a bad memory? Nevertheless, I sorted them through with Jesus, the Master Carpenter. The transformation involved taking responsibility for my feelings and forgiving where necessary.

I loved my father and though he died years ago, I often think of him. He did his very best for me, sacrificially at times, you can’t ask more than that from a man. We don’t have a shed now, but I can still go into my ‘woodshed’ anytime and be with my heavenly Father. He’s always there for me with open arms, ready to comfort, guide and steady. They are special times, Father and son together.

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