Chronic pain is a ravenous beast. It desires to suck the joy out of our lives. It isn’t satisfied until every bit of life is squeezed from our wheezing, dying frame. It mocks our attempts to hold it at bay with pills and potions. Sometimes after a sharp prick from a needle, it will go into hiding, only to return days later, red-faced and angry.

caregiving and chronic painI’ve tried to befriend the beast. I once made up a song called “Pain is my Friend.” The tune was mournful, even though I tried my best to keep it upbeat. It didn’t matter. The beast didn’t want nor did it need my friendship. We would never be kin, although it came, uninvited, into my acre of real estate.

While I go charging into battle with the enemy of pain, others let themselves become defeated, barely trying to put up a fight. Sometimes our aging loved ones can’t do battle. They’re tired; mentally and physically exhausted. We can help them tame the beast with medication. We can hug freely and pray openly. We can murmur words of comfort. Mostly, we can encourage them to finish strong.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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