April 4, 2007
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
So many people with TN and neuropathic facial pain walk the valley of the shadow of death. The pain, so severe that living through it seems unbearable, causes fear. The fear of the electrocution-type pains is universal for people with TN, and it is something no one can understand unless he or she has experienced this pain.
Trigeminal pain can cause a person to be afraid of living rather than dying. Often people with it feel devoured and trapped by the pain. Death is a thought that floats through the surrounding air. It floats like a shadow.
The shadow exists because trigeminal neuralgia is not fatal. For people whose pain will not relent, death can seem to be a relief. Would someone rather suffer constantly or go on to be with our Lord? Yet God chooses not to take us in the midst of the pain. The purpose of our suffering seems elusive, futile, and nonexistent.
What can people expect when they are waiting for God's mercy? The scripture tells us that mercy follows a visitation. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Job 10:12. God sustains and nourishes our spirit as we endure the physical torment. His visitation prepares us to receive His good gifts. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79 .
Before God healed me of trigeminal neuralgia, I tried to explain the fear, the darkness, and the shadow of death to others. People often had this reply: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:17-19 . The question was this: Was I filled with God's love or not?
I feared pain but not death. My fear did not leave until I was healed, and I was healed in one moment. Before I was healed, the Holy Spirit visited me. I was assured of God's love and that He would deliver me. I donned the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) and fought the good fight of faith. The victory did not come quickly or easily, but when it arrived, it came powerfully.
Although God has brought me through the valley of trigeminal neuralgia, I will never forget the fear of the pain. If you are experiencing fear and pain, ask God to visit you. You won't see Him, but He will come. Your ears won't hear Him, but your spirit will. Ask Him to guide you through the valley of the shadow of death.
Have you read With Great Mercy?