Seeing The Sacred In Sciatica

May 15, 2000
by Mary Daniel

Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 12:9 – And he said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)

For those of you who may not have experienced the thrust of an attack of the sciatic nerve, it truly teaches us many things.

Rippling along the lower back, it sends searing pains down the back of one or both legs and can leave one's foot rather numb. No position provides relief for any length of time, and even the thought of moving hurts.

My back had "gone out" before, but only for three or four days, and never with the leg and foot involvement. Further, I'd always been able to "fit it in" so that my work or commitments never skipped a beat. At the onslaught, when a friend told me it had taken her six weeks to recover, my retort was, "I don't have that kind of time."

God knew differently. It has now been over seven weeks. During the first week, my life was spent betwixt bed, bath and ice packs. As I lay soaking in the soothing warm water, I thought how very blessed I was to have a warm bed and a warm bath and to be able to arrange to take the time to heal. I thought about the mother in Mozambique in need of rescue, giving birth to her baby in the branches of a tree while the raging river rose in the floods below. I thought about people working in factories and fields; the hoards of displaced people, strewn from their homelands, making camp wherever they could; people fleeing countries with intolerable living conditions; people who live with pain, exhaustion and immobility every day; and I thought how very little about which I had to complain.

We are sometimes given situations which seem inconvenient or intolerable so that we may stop and realize what real inconvenience and intolerance is; so that we may appreciate what we have; and so that we may reassess what in our lives we think we have to do, as opposed to what He would have us do.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those times where you step in to show us we must slow down, while reminding us of others' unchangeable life situations. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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