When Life Hands You Ice Packs

“Time for a heat treatment!” My physical therapist is finally letting me loose from her torture, and now the payoff is near.

I had a little meeting with her before my session, telling her that I didn’t think I was making much progress. She responded by digging her elbow to my back with the gusto of a merciless Norwegian masseuse. But a hot pack? Now you’re talking.

“Wait, wait!” Uh oh. My little dream of heat was dying. “Let’s try ice. You’ve been so sore, I think ice is better.”

Ice? Seriously? It’s twenty-four degrees outside with wind chills approaching zero. My muscles feel like they were rammed through a pasta press, and your best idea is ice?

Well, she’s the one with the degree, so I said “Sure. Let’s do it.” Oy. So there I was, lying on my stomach with huge bags of ice on my back, while dreams of sunny beaches and baking sunshine played in my head. It helped a little. Finally, ten years minutes later, time was up and so was I, ready to call it a day.

As I drove home, blasting the car heater, I marveled at how completely wrong my expectations were. I figured my ‘Come to Jesus’ moment with the therapist would result in easing up on my exercises. After all, they didn’t seem to help much. But oh no, instead, this woman decided to go postal on me, smashing my unsuspecting body to a pulp. So…that was unexpected.

I also thought I’d be soothed by a nice big heating pad after the whole ordeal. Ha! Ice for you my friend.

What the heck is going on here?

Isn’t that just the way life goes? You think you know exactly what will be good for you, what will help. A raise. A romance. A retreat from a relationship. But then somehow it all goes sideways. You get fired, you break up, you’re cornered into saving your friendship.

It’s all so confusing. What is going on here? Well, even though it sounds strange, God is going on here.

While we only see the right now, God sees years and years into the future. He knows we see through limited eyes, but that won’t stop him from allowing what’s best. Even when best looks like worst.

So what can we expect?

Have you ever gotten a freezing ice pack instead of a nice hot water bottle? Β Does it ever look like God gave you a situation you’d rather give back because it’s not what you wanted or expected? Maybe it seems like God’s got it in for you, making life harder than it has to be.

But our loving Father isn’t out to get you, he just sees further into the future than you can. He knows what those challenges will do for you, creating in you a stronger, more empathetic servant.

I know God’s got a beautiful plan just for you. He’s got one for me too. And I am confident that someday, we’ll understand how all those ice packs healed us.


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57 thoughts on “When Life Hands You Ice Packs

  1. Oh yes to your words Ceil! God is the keeper of our lives and knows everything about us. It is reassuring but at the same time leaves us in a place of uncertainty if we don’t see what God sees.

    Letting go to the one who knows best – God or a therapist- is not easy. I know you felt amazing when your therapy session was over but maybe not so much in the middle. I know we experience those same feelings when we are in the middle of something that we just don’t know the reason why. Thank you for your wise words.

    • Hi Mary! I remember those words about the ‘middle’ and they have definitely stuck with me. I always feel better leaving PT, and I know it will help me eventually. Of course, I want it NOW! Lol. I don’t think that’s quite the right interpretation of my word for 2017.

      Only God sees the day I’m back to normal. I trust in him to bring it at just the right time.
      Have a peaceful night,

  2. Yes, one day, long down the road, we will understand (and appreciate) the ice packs, Ceil. Sorry to hear you’re having to go through physical therapy, as I know that can’t be easy, but I guess it’s necessary for complete healing, too. Prayers for you, and wishing you all the best!

    • Hi Martha! I know I need to keep up with PT, and healing will come when God plans it. I can’t wait honestly. Learning patience step by step.

      It’s good when I can relax and just let God direct my path. I don’t think I let that happen as much as I should though. It’s a good thing that God puts up with inconstant humans like me.
      Thanks for visiting tonight!

  3. Yes – it’s happened to me too! And often, but not always you can see why later. It’s such a comfort to know that God always knows the why though!

    • Hi Mari! Thanks for sharing your experience with ice packs, and how I often you can see later how beneficial it was. I can’t wait until this is in the rear view mirror for me.

      God knows the path, he knows the way I will be healed. That needs to be enough right now.
      Blessings to you!

  4. Oh, the process can be so painful! I remember cancelling two shoulder surgeries, and then getting my worst dislocation ever (twice in one day-the second while about to leave the hospital from the first one). When I declined the process, it led me into more trouble, and dealing with something much longer than I had to. Yes, flowing instead of resisting, even in the icy and hot times, is a plan God wants for us, His beloveds! Not always easy to relinquish control though! I hope you are feeling better and healing Ceil!

    • Hi Lynn! I can only imagine your discomfort. A dislocated shoulder? That had to be awful. I’m glad you got the surgery you needed, and I know it’s no picnic. I stayed with my dad for a month after his shoulder procedure.

      I’m so glad it all worked out so well for you. God is good! I now fear is a big barrier to healing, so I’m hanging in there, hoping in the Lord, trusting he will heal. It’s a daily dedication to that, let me tell you. But healing is coming, I just know it.
      Thank you for sharing your experience!

  5. I remember a nurse telling me once, quite some time ago, that ice is always recommended before heat, because in some cases heat can do damage, depending on what the ailment is. Isn’t it wonderful that God loves us and He knows our needs?

    • Hi Linda! I’m glad I didn’t fight the ice, even though it didn’t feel very good in the short term. Our bodies are such amazing things, and I’m grateful for people who specialize in helping us maximize them.

      I trusts in God to help me, and to heal me. It’s going to take longer than I thought, but I’m ready to do my part. Together with him, anything is possible!
      Have a wonderful Monday,

  6. It is so very important to trust Him when we get that ice pack expecting a heat pack. I’m learning to give Him my challenges/issues, handing them over and remembering to praise Him more than even think about the problems. I know His best for me is what He always wants and I don’t want to slow the process. It takes courage to keep thanking Him instead of figuring it out. I hope all your pain goes away. I had a muscle pain for weeks and felt I should ice my knee. It really brought relief!

    • Hi Mary! I’m so glad your knee pain subsided. Nagging aches and pains can really drag you down. Who knew ice was so powerful?

      You’re right about courage. He knows what’s best and wants me to have faith and trust. When we hit those tough spots in life, relying on him is never the wrong course to take.
      Wishing you a wonderful week,

    • Hi Ifeoma! Thank you for checking back with me!

      I know I don’t always get what I ask for, but I’m really hoping that I’ll experience some relief soon. I think it is what God would want, and I will keep my faith and trust in that.
      Monday blessings,

  7. Oh my, Ceil. I get the shivers just thinking about ice-ing an injury! And yes, God has handed me a few ice packs when I would have preferred a heating pad, but now that I am on the other side of those painful situations, I can see His hand of mercy. Thanks for sharing, Ceil. Hope you feel better very soon.

    • Hi Pam! I am SO glad that you are on the other side of your challenges. Such a great feeling to have come through and know the healing and calming love of God. Thank you for sharing that.

      I know I’ll feel that hand of mercy in my life too. I have to be patient, and do the work he asks of me.
      May God continue to bless us both with his love and mercy,

  8. Life sometimes feels like an ice pack instead of a heat bottle! Does all that help later, once the soreness wears off? I’ve never been able to do massages because they hurt, but I was always young and in good health when I went. Maybe it’s supposed to hurt so that later it feels better!

    • Hi Stephanie! That time, I didn’t think the ice helped much, but I have used it at home with some success.
      I don’t think massages should hurt personally. I’ve had a few, and if they hurt, I don’t think the masseuse knew what they were doing. You should feel loose and relaxed!
      Monday blessings,

  9. I can imagine the disappointment of not having a lovely warm pad on your back! I often use one for back pain…but not ice packs!
    Sometimes we just have to go along the road and accept that there are going to be ‘icepack’ times, but also that God knows what is the best for our healing.

    • Hi Barbara! I completely agree with you. The attitude I am taking is that God will lead me to healing, I just have to do what I can to help that out.
      I’ll always vote for heat vs ice! But whatever will do the job, that’s what I’ll do.
      Thanks for visiting here today!

  10. Hi Ceil! Yeah, it’s not always so fun to be given “an ice pack” from God, yet even ice serves a purpose. Even though it seems counter-intuitive ice does help injuries (it brings down swelling)–I’ve found ice comforting/soothing at times (even in the deep cold of winter). So, I’m guessing the “ice” just might serve a similar purpose spiritually? While heat may seem more comforting, it has its painful times too.

    Praying you eventually find relief in your physical therapy appointments.


    • Hi Kim! Thank you for your prayers for my recovery. I need them!

      Yes, I know that ice is good for swelling, it just doens’t feel very good. As you say, there is a definite analogy to the spiritual world. What God brings to us doesn’t always feel good either. But in the end, it will have it’s purpose. I know the Lord is in my corner. What more would I need than that?

      Thank you for sharing this on Twitter too! I appreciate it so much,

  11. One of the hardest things to keep in mind when the ice packs are being used is that He is a good, good Father. He knows the exact treatment needed and how often and how long. I like a good massage (I am overdo for sure) but I have to trust her to know what is best.

    • Hi Bill! Oh yes, I do believe she knows what she’d doing. It’s just that ice doens’t feel very good when it’s cold out already!
      I like how you say we should remember that God is a good, good Father. That sounds so comforting, and it’s so true.

      May God continue to heal us in our challenges, and bring us to health,

  12. This is such a great analogy, Ceil. The process to healing can be painful and so different than we think. We want comfortable cuddles or heating pads, not ice packs! Thank you for this encouragement. God knows what we need! We can put our hand trustingly in His. I love the last picture. My tomorrow’s post uses the same one. πŸ™‚ I hope your back will soon feel better! Love and hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! That last photo is so sweet, I’ll be happy to see it on your post.
      I’m glad you found some encouragement here. I think it’s important that I remember there is purpose in everything, even ice packs. I might not see it now, but I now I will in time.
      I hope my back feels better soon too!
      Thanks for visiting today,

  13. When I was receiving therapy for a frozen shoulder. I told the therapist I used heated rice bags to relieve the soreness. She told me that ice would relieve the inflammation. I was going in February. I always wear sweats in the winter. So, they used the ice bags against my sweatshirt rather than my skin. And yes, God has all things under His control. He sees the BIG picture, we can only see what is right in front of us.

    • HI Cecelia! I remember when you were going through that, isn’t it great to see it in your rear view mirror?
      I found out that ice helps with inflammation, and I do know it has it’s applications. I guess I just am not crazy about freezing in the winter. (I should wear a sweatshirt too!) But I’ll do whatever will get me to feeling better. I told my PT, she will never have a more compliant patient.
      Thank you for your encouraging comment!

    • Hi Lulu! I’m so glad you liked the post, thank you for your enthusiastic response!

      Thank you for your advice in using the ice too. I really should try using it at home. Anything that will help will be joyfully done, believe me.
      Thank you for your kind words,

  14. You know, I was just reading through some notes I’d taken in church over the last several months, and one of the things that struck me (and I was reminded of, again!) was how God has the big picture in mind, while we get tangled up too much in “today”. Good things to ponder. Thank you, Ceil. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Karen! Let me tell you, this experience has shown me that I have such a narrow view of what will help me. And it’s really unrealistic at times too. I have had to really surrender to what God’s plans are for me, not my own.

      I’m glad you liked the theme of the post Karen. Thank you for sharing your notes!

  15. Love this post, my friend! It reminds me of a September 18 years ago when a car struck me while I was walking in the parking lot of my office building. It was a touch and go kind of thing. I was alive and no broken bones, but lots of soft tissue damage and pain that was off the charts. I had 3 months of PT and could barely walk into the PT office the first day. This post helped me relive the whole thing and yes, the Lord handled it, but at the time…..yikes!!

    • Holy Cow Pam! What a devastating experience! I am so thankful that you weren’t killed, and I can only imagine what must have gone through your mind after the accident. God is so good, you made such a great recovery, although I’m sure there were tears and questions through the whole trial.

      Thank you for sharing this, it really does give me perspective. God saved you from so many other complications, while it was all you could do to keep up with the ones you had. It took a while, but all was well again. I’m so happy for you!
      God bless,

    • Hi Victor! I’m sorry that you are being handed ice packs Victor. Believe me, I know how uncomfortable they can be. May God hold you in his loving arms, surrounding you with his love and mercy.

      I’ll be praying for you today,

  16. Boy, oh, boy, did I need to read this one today! I have been trying to get over here since I saw your post come in to our inbox, but just had time to do so this morning. Now, I know why…God was reserving this nugget of wisdom until He knew I needed it most. YES, I feel like this is exactly what is going on…I loved what you said about God not having it in for us and how He sees years and years out into the future and knows how the ice packs will make us better. We certainly cannot see that when the cold hardness seeps into our pores and makes us cry out to God for mercy. But, surely it is all a necessary part of His plan. Thank you for this reminder, sweet friend. I do hope you start to feel relief…and soon. God bless you for sharing this…your discomfort brought a much-needed lesson to me.

    • Hi Cheryl! I know you are facing all kinds of struggles my friend, and know that I am with you in prayer (along with your niece). It’s so important for us to remember that God loves us SO much, and he will not leave us to sink into the mud. He is our God-Hero!

      We’ll get past this cold pack. There’s a hot water bottle in our future πŸ™‚

  17. This is a great illustration of how God’s plan for us may not seem good in the moment when it’s different from what we wanted or expected, and it may be hard or painful. But we know he is working for our good and we just have to trust that the end result will be good. I hope you feel some relief soon from the pain in your back.

    • Hi Lesley! I think you have the right idea about this post. I know that God works quietly, sometimes hidden from us…but always for our good. It seems like he doesn’t pay attention, but he is always working in love.
      Thank you for your hopes for my healing. I join you in that for sure. It’s coming, and I can’t wait.

  18. Hi Ceil! Happy New Year!

    Oh my, do I ever know this. I feel like I frequently get ice packs instead of hot water bottles. This resonates spiritually too – because so often I think, “God, don’t you think this would be better if you handled it this way?!”


    He always knows better and I have to trust that the ice pack I’m being handed will help me in the long run.

    Thanks for sharing friend!

    • Hi Jennifer! Boy, do I know that feeling! I always think I know the right way to go, the fastest way to get what I want. But I have to remember that he always knows best. Maybe the ice pack is important, and really what I need.

      Trust is something I always need to work on. But fortunately for me, God will wait while I catch up!
      Thank you for visiting today πŸ™‚

  19. What words of hope and truth. Those “ice-pack” moments have a way of helping us serve in unexpected ways, don’t they? — Hope you’re feeling better now. I clicked on your comment from Linda’s site. Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚ ((blessings))

    • Hi Brenda! Thank you for stopping by today πŸ™‚
      Those cold packs really do serve to help, but I often don’t recognize how at the time. Patience and trust. That’s what will get me the grace to wait.

      Nice to meet you too!

    • Hi Linda! I’m so glad you liked the post. It’s so good that our lives teach us so many good lessons. I just hope this one is in my rear view mirror soon!

      I’ll take that heating pad, and use it along with my rice bag. Surrounded in heat…ahhhh…

      January blessings,

  20. In different ways our Lord is teaching us both the same things! “His ways are not our ways” takes on a new meaning when ice is applied when you wanted heat, indeed. And yet, perhaps down the road, we will understand that it was the ice applied that made the difference. I’m so sorry to hear that you are still struggling with pain after the physical therapy treatments! I do pray that the lessons you are learning during this time, and that the presence of the Lord will be with you in a sweet way during this time. Many hugs and prayers for you my friend!

    • Hi MM! Thank you for your kind wishes in your comment. Today, I’m feeling better! I had PT today and then tomorrow, so hopefully that will get me on the right track.

      His ways are not our ways. Yes! I didn’t think to use that Scripture quote, but it’s perfect. I hope that both of us learn the lessons we need to move forward in strength.
      Hugs right back to you, and bless you for your prayers (I need them!),

  21. oooo I felt this post and shivered too. brrrrrr. But as I scrolled down suddenly I saw the photo of those hands. wow what a different mood you gave me at the end. Great writing and wonderful message, Ceil!

    • Hi Jean! Aww, thank you for your kind words about the post. I really appreciate it. That ice was not fun, let me tell you. But I know I need to see it as God’s healing hand. Not what I expected, but it’s what a Father does sometimes, right? We get not what we want, but what we need.
      Hoping you have a peaceful night,

  22. “But our loving Father isn’t out to get you, he just sees further into the future than you can. He knows what those challenges will do for you, creating in you a stronger, more empathetic servant.” <— THIS. YES! Oh, how I love that Ceil.

    You always give us such an important message, and this does not disappoint. Thank you for the reminder, my friend.

    • Hi Chris! The line you quoted was one of my favorites from the post. Thank you so much for your always encouraging and enthusiastic comments. You are a born supporter of others! I’m very grateful to have a connection with you through our blogs.

      Have a restful Sunday!

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