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COVER STORY: Joni Eareckson Tada
Avoiding Holiday
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How is faith related to pain tolerance? Can a person with great faith endure more than a person with little or no faith? What can we learn from people of great faith that will help us live with chronic illness?

In the early years of my husband's illness, pain made him angry. He fought against his pain, often lashing out. To suggest he give it to God only frustrated him. He was the one with an uncooperative body. How could I know how he felt or what he suffered? Yes, he believed in God and in Jesus Christ, but that belief was not faith. It was head knowledge, not heart knowledge

In our thirty years together, my husband and I have "grown up" in the Lord. Our faith has changed and deepened. Dependence on God has replaced resentment with hope. Faith enables us to say, "this world is not my home" and live based on a healthy spirit rather than a healthy body.

Hebrews 11 names and praises many great people of faith. Verses 13-16 states, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

When faith is strong enough to assure you of eternal life with God, it is strong enough to see you through the pain in your physical life. My husband has greater physical pain now than ever before, but he knows God has prepared a place for him where pain does not exist. Just today he said to me, "I can hardly wait for the day when I'll never have pain again." He is looking for that city where his real home lies and because of this, he can endure today.

Lora Chandler has been in a care giving role since 1982 when her husband began his life-long struggle with pain due to a bone disease. Lora welcomes your comments at lorac@yucca.net.


This article was featured in our Nov/Dec 2004 issue.
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All information on this web site and from hopekeepers MagazineŽ is copyright, 2004, not to be used without permission in print or electronically. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions. Please contact us at rest@restministries.org if you would like to reprint it for public use. Permission is not needed for 10 or less copies of personal use (send to a friend, share with your support group, etc.) We're happy to answer your questions about it.