On World Arthritis day, October 12th, a National newspaper produced a supplement entitled, Arthritis Awareness. The headline announced 'Arthritis: the greatest cause of disability in the UK.' I read on, to discover that over 10 million people live with Arthritis in the UK in 2017, and that it is a painful condition. 'It ' is actually a misnomer, as there are 200 different types of Arthritis.
The supplement described information about support and treatment for Arthritis, including creams, ointment, gel, tablets, exercises, clever machines, counselling, group therapy, dedicated GP's, operations, and gave a dire prediction concerning the rising number of older people whose arthritic conditions will cost the country -- £millions!
However, such a lengthy list of support systems is surely encouraging? The careful presentation of painkilling drugs, and exercise programmes is encouraging. New joints now last for many years, and 21st century research continues to discover new techniques and medications. And when you think your condition can't get any worse... the only possibility is that it might get better.
I myself am an arthritic sufferer. I have 2 knee replacements, and as winter approaches, I turn out my homely knitted mittens, because I can no longer push my knobbly fingers into gloves! I consider variations on the headline couplet, ' Arthritic Awareness ' such as,
even Arthritic agony!
But it does require real determination to choose the phrase, ' Arthritic acceptance.'
Of course, the Bible offers advice. Psalm 6
'Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am faint.
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
I am worn out from groaning all night long.
I flood my bed with tears...
BUT the Lord has heard my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer.'
There is a proverb which states that pleasant words are sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones. And what words are pleasanter than this assurance, also from the Bible.
'It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.'
Faith is a very sturdy walking stick!