Monday, August 2, 2021

But If Not...: Praising God Through the Pain

At the beginning of July, Hubby and I packed up the whole family and we went for our fourth year to Camp Chetek's family camp. 

The week started off HOT and humid with temperatures reaching almost 95 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday. If you've been around here long enough, you probably know that heat and I don't mix. At all. Anything higher than about 70, and I'm headed straight for heat exhaustion. Generally speaking, if I get overheated, it takes me at least a week or two to recover depending on how bad it was. 

But If Not...: Praising God Through the Pain

This time, I didn't have a chance to recover and gain any spoons back. I had to jump straight into a week of family camp.

On Monday afternoon, I was in a pretty awful mood. I was grouchy because I felt absolutely horrible, and I knew that the rest of the week would be more of the same. I had been hoping to do at least a few activities with the kids, but knew that it wasn't going to happen (we did do the escape room on Wednesday though and that was fun!). I felt like I was letting my family down by not being able to do things with them, and I was not too happy that my body was once again letting me down by being a total jerk.

That night was our first chapel service of the week. The speaker for the week was Ben Everson (whose preaching and music I highly recommend!) and his sermon on Monday evening was on chapter three of Daniel. In case you don't remember what happens in that chapter or you don't have a Bible nearby, it's the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they refused to bow down to the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzer had set up. The king had commanded that everyone bow down to the statue and if they didn't, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's response to that command is found in verses 16-18.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

To sum up, they told the king that they would not bow down to the statue and that God would be able to save them from the fire. But the first three words of verse 18 are where it gets real. 

"But if not..."

Even if God didn't choose to save them from the fiery furnace, they would still serve Him.  

My troubles looked a little less daunting at that point. 

That night, I decided that if God allowed me to have health issues that week, I would still serve Him. Period. I would not allow those issues to ruin a week spent with my family learning more about Jesus.

Guess what happened next?!?

My health continued to tank all week. 

By Wednesday, all of the walking, the heat from Monday, the sudden plunge into cold temperatures (90s on Monday and by Wednesday, it was in the 60s), and everything else was really taking its toll on me. My vision was wonky and made me feel like I was walking around cross-eyed, my joints were in excruciating pain from giving out on me and subluxing, my muscles were spasming almost constantly, my fatigue was so severe that I could barely put one foot in front of the other and it didn't help that my foot drop had kicked into overdrive making me trip frequently, my autonomic system had taken a vacation and all of my signals (am I hot or cold? hungry or full? etc.) were mixed up. It will be weeks before I get back to my baseline.

But it was still a fun, encouraging week, and the only reason was because I chose to focus on God instead of my problems. I asked Him to heal my pain and fatigue so I could spend some time actually doing things with my family, but He didn't. 

"But if not..."

Some people would probably take this opportunity to ask why God wouldn't heal me if He truly loved me. I covered that in this post, but to sum it up, I learned a lot more and grew as a believer more last week at family camp than I would have if my health had been great. My circumstances do not dictate my relationship with God. 

"But If Not..." Praising God through the pain :


Has there been a time in your life when you chose to continue to serve God through a trial? I'd love to hear your story!


  1. Love this sweet message. I hope you are recovering more quickly than anticipated. Visiting from the friendship friday blog hop.


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