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Packing Up or Packing It In During Times of Pain?

Posted Oct 17 2012 10:00am

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

It had taken nearly all week to get everything ready to pack. My youngest adult son was going on the church missions trip in the morning. He has a mild intellectual disability, so he needed help–lots of it! The trouble was that my body had little left to give.

We had everything out, but now it all needed to be carefully weighed, sorted, and packed. It would have been easier if there wasn’t 21 kg (46 lbs) of extra things to take, that were donated for the orphanage. My body was already screaming out to stop before we’d even started packing. Determined, I sat on the floor, tricking myself with a cup of tea to con my body into thinking it was working easy instead of working hard!

Soon the “brain fog” was muddling up weights in my head. While juggling the bags with contents and getting on and off the scales my son started to get frustrated. His solution to anything difficult is to “pack it in” with the typical comment that accompanies it, “Well, I’m not going then!”

It would have been so easy to lose heart, for both of us, but that moment was not the time to “pack it in!” With all that was left within me, I challenged his behavior with words similar to 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” “This is not the time to give up, buddy! It’s time to grow up and see that this is difficult, but we can do it together.”

He came back in and “packing up” we laughed together. I prayed for God to help us and the tension was released. The Lord knew that I needed a laugh, with the play on words too. My body was still screaming in pain, but everything finally packed into the bags in a flash. We both beamed and let out an audible sigh.

I praise God for His words when my brain is so foggy that it can’t think. I’m also thankful for a Heavenly Father that knows my need of a laugh, even in the toughest moments.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that when I’m about to lose heart, You come to the rescue. Thank You for Your renewing Holy Spirit, refreshing me when my body is truly wasting away with fatigue and pain. Help me to reach for You when my body and brain is ready to “pack it in.” Amen.


Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illness. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

How does God renew you when your body is screaming out to stop? Is humour part of your release valve too when you can’t pack up for God’s adventure?

Have “If We’ve Ever Needed You” with Casting Crowns. Do you feel like packing it in sometimes instead of packing it up? How does God’s faithfulness change that perspective?

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