In today’s pleasure-filled, me-first age, no believer who is “blessed by the Lord” desires to suffer. A young Christian woman raised in Dubai said, her greatest terror in life is “pain and suffering.” She expressed her concern to friends, “I don’t want to suffer in any way…” Like children who scream at the sight of an injection syringe, some are terrified of pain, not knowing the medicine painfully pumped into the body will indeed bring relief and eventually healing. By Daniel Grimmer
Certainly pain is a signal something is wrong in the body. Therefore pain is a friend and not a foe. Yet, it will not disappear by wishing it away. For years I ignored pain. In 1992, lying down after a hearty meal at a friend’s home, suddenly I woke up with severe pain on the right side of my ribs just beneath the liver. Brushing it off as gastritis from the delicious pork curry I took relief it will go away.
Two days later, the pain hit again in the same spot. The doctor diagnosed it as gall bladder infection. The problem had been within my body for quite some time, but I was ignored the seriousness of the condition. After a course of antibiotics the pain disappeared. Thrice severe pain seared through the same organ. Every time I prayed it will go away. The church prayed for healing. Few anointed men of faith prayed over me. Yet, the last time the pain was so intense as if someone was twisting a sharp pointed knife, driving it up right under my liver. On the 24th June 2006, the doctors performed a cholecystectomy by laproscopy. Two days later, I returned home. Since then the pain has disappeared!
Gall stones are a common problem in men and women in developed and developing nations. Many may have it but would never find out. They would live with it and die with it. Thank God for the pain. Often like the pain, when ignored Satan's devices can be so subtle; we brush off lightly or totally ignore it. Remember the Strongman in the Bible? Anointed from birth, and named "distinguished" or Samson, yet did not realize when the Spirit of God left Him. He awoke from his sleep, and said, I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Judges 16:20.
Have "little foxes" crept into our lives to "spoil the vines", over time? Or some destructive physical-spiritual life-threatening habits slid in un-noticed?
Or is the Enemy’s scheme gradually influencing us? Remember just as pain is a signal indicating an illness – sometimes a serious malignant disease in the body, emotional discomfort and restlessness in the Spirit are sign posts of something abnormal, and sometimes diabolic in us. Do not ignore. Seek God. Let Him search our lives. Pain measured in the unit called “dols” can be different for different people. The same intensity of pain with a needle on one may feel like the brush of a feather to another. Different people have different intensity to pain; different tolerance levels for pain due to the varied anti-pain chemicals in the brain!Similarly believers have different spiritual sensitivities to the destructive work of the flesh, world and the devil in their lives.
Some are highly sensitive and respond immediately in humility to the Spirit’s conviction of their waywardness. While most are callous, sliding down the slippery path of downfall and evil, ignoring the gentle and repeated nudge of the Helper! What would it take for the Lord to halt some in their track and redirect them from the broad way of eternal hell to the narrow way of Abundant Life? While most of us may not suffer intensely, be persecuted, or be martyrs for our faith, pain and suffering is inevitable and is part of the sinful world we live in.
Yet pain not only stops us in our stride, but slows us down to find what is wrong! That is the red signal to stop, check and repair the damages in my body. Similarly, when the Lord nudges us, disturbs and pulls the twigs off the nest, God is lovingly reminding us of our spiritual impediments needing urgent attention. Will you stop to find out or will you move on groping blindly meandering through life? My prayer is that you would stop, think, search, return to the Loving Saviour and be restored!
Read Romans 5.3, Hebrews 2.10, James 1.2-4, Hebrews 3.15, Revelation 2.7, 1 Thessalonians 5.19, Ephesians 4.30, Galatians 5.16.
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