Paralyzed by Back Pain

by | May 17, 2012 | Blessing, Suffering, Trials

A few years ago I woke up with unimaginable pain in my lower back. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t even stand up. Now, I do like to sleep, but believe me, not twenty-four hours a day! Doctors could only prescribe heavy pain killers, and my daily visits to the chiropractor hardly made a difference. I’m ashamed to say that I wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around those first few days, as I made sure that everyone around me knew about my misery!

Over time, I slowly began to be able to sit again, but only for short periods of time, and only when sitting on a doughnut-shaped cushion. Most of the time though, I was flat on my back. After three weeks off work, I was little better, but I felt like I needed to return to my classroom. As I was unable to sit, I brought in garden pads for my knees. When I got tired of standing, I would simply kneel down to continue my lesson. This was quite humbling in front of 30 hormone-filled teenagers! “I told you my teacher was weird! He is now down on his knees, begging us to learn our multiplication tables!”

At the end of the week, as I was doing my hall duty, my vice-principal stopped me in my tracks. “You are walking like an energy-deprived old man that has arteriosclerosis in his back!”

It was true. Because the lower-back pain was so intense, I had started walking around like the hunchback of Notre Dame. But what was I to do? I decided to try some of my off-colored humor with her: “That’s what happens when you teach teenagers!”

“Go home!” She said.

I guess she did not like my humor!

I returned home that afternoon and was off for another three weeks. In the meantime, the chiropractor recommended that I go to a massage therapist, and under his care my back began to improve in leaps and bounds.

Throughout all of this, I had been praying fervently for healing all of the time; but instead of healing I received the following message: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9 NIV)

I really didn’t like that answer at first, believe me; but when I was finally able to let God replace my self-pity and complaining with an attitude of “Teach me Lord!”, the doors of Heaven swung wide open. While laying on my back for those numerous days, I had a delightful time conversing with my Best Friend. Boy did He teach me those weeks! And boy, did I learn that illnesses can be used to God’s glory! In fact, I can honestly say that those were the best weeks of my later years! Can you believe it? And why would this be? Because God had my full attention and He blessed me with His presence!

Illnesses can be painful, but with the right focus they can become a real blessing as well! “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matt 6:6 The Message)

And no matter what, one day we all will be healed when we walk the golden streets with Jesus! So why worry of our temporary discomforts? Our future is guaranteed! Nothing can move us!

P. S. Are you noticing any pain anywhere? Maybe God is trying to get your attention!

Rob Chaffart


Paralyzed by Back Pain