I wrote a paper on the phantom limb phenomenon during the course of my undergrad studies. This phenomenon was said to plague individuals who had suffered the loss of a limb. Tingly sensations, numbness, and pain riddled the area where the loss limb once resided. In many cases, the sensations were so intense that it felt like the limb was still attached to their body. However, in many cases the sensations were said to decrease or disappear over a period of time.
I’ve never lost a limb, but I am familiar with the haunting presence of feelings emanating from an area that had been cut off and removed from my life. When something becomes nothing the ache left in its wake can be difficult to bear. The phantom limb pain is often inconveniently present despite the absence of that “limb.”
We are predisposed to unexpected losses, broken hearts, and severed relationships due to the fallen nature of our world. In its midst, we may experience pain springing from an area that was once so crucial to our existence, but is no longer present. But, God…
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So, after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on firm foundation.” 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)
When the pain of loss becomes unbearable we must rely on the promises of God. We will suffer for a little while, but we can trust God to restore, support, strengthen, and place us on a firm foundation.
So, today remember we are not alone in our suffering--“Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” 1 Peter 5:9. The reasons God may allow pain to linger in our lives will vary, but I've learned that it can help in our ability to relate and comfort other people as they endure loss. The ache of your lost “limb” is not unknown to God. He sees you. The loss of that “limb” may seem unbearable right now, but our God is walking with us through each difficult situation and seemingly insurmountable obstacle. We must not view pain as our enemy. Pain can be our ally due to its potential to propel us into a deeper relationship with Christ. The pain will decrease and over time it will disappear. But, in the meantime don’t try to repress it. Don’t seek to deny it. Allow it to be with the knowledge that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed—Psalm 34:18.”
God will bring you through it. Be encouraged.
Written by Ashley Ivery