Can illness and suffering be beneficial to us?

When Suffering Seems Unbearable Series.


It Sure Hurts! Help!!! When Suffering Seems Unbearable, Part 2

What do you do when you have a tooth that hurts? There is no way around it. You have to call your dentist, and boy, he sure has a knack in locating the source of the pain!

"Is this the one that is hurting?"

How can anyone respond, when you are squirming in the dentist chair and almost passing out from pain?

"I am waiting for your answer!"

Easily said than done. How can you respond with fingers in your mouth?

"Ahhhhohhhihhh."

"I knew it! You need a root canal! I sure don't like doing these. They can be so painful that most of my clients start to hate me during these procedures."

Words like these make you wish you never had teeth in the first place!

"If for some reason the pain subsides, which I really doubt, call my office to cancel the procedure."

You can sure count on that!

As someone who is allergic to pain (Who isn't?), I decided right there and then that prayer was a necessity to my survival! Knowing how much God loves each one of His children, I came with confidence before His throne and presented my petty petition, for oh, how it pales in comparison to the many woes of this world!

But I know that I am important to Him and He cares about my pain. I received the following message: "Trust me! I will heal it; however your sorrows won't be over."

A week later, though I still couldn't chew on that side, it seemed the pain had subsided a bit. I decided to walk by faith. I called the dentist' office to cancel my appointment.

Boy, those dental secretaries can sure be tenacious! They did everything they could to persuade me to keep my appointment in the torture chamber! I stood firm however, and although I was still in pain, I cancelled my appointment.

A week later, the throbbing subsided completely. I had escaped the horrors of the dentist's dungeon. Hurray!

Two months later the dental hygienist had her routine opportunity to clean my teeth, and the subject veered towards my tooth that had somehow managed to escape execution.

"And it doesn't hurt anymore?" She asked, utterly surprised.

"No ma'am. Try it. Bang on it if you would like to. The pain is completely gone."

"But that's not possible. What did you do?"

"I know it's not possible, ma'am," I responded. "All I did was pray."

"You prayed???"

"Yes ma'am. God does indeed hear our prayers!"

"Maybe I should start praying more often," she said, a bit wistfully.

And so it was that my experiences with my tooth gave me the opportunity to talk about the Lover of my soul. I was able to be an instrument of God's grace in that hygienist's chair, and I was able to use this situation to help someone grow closer to Jesus.

God not only uses our circumstances to our best interest, in view of eternity, but also to His glory. "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." (Rom. 8:28 NIV)

Healing isn't always God's will, however, and when it isn't, there is always a reason. After this healing of my tooth, I happened to remember God's original message to me: "Trust me! I will heal it; however your sorrows won't be over." I realized that I would have to wait for my next episode with the Lord to discover what this meant!

It's all about growing closer to the Lover of our soul. It's all about discovering that life is truly enhanced by His presence! "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

We can expect suffering and tribulation. It's part of the life we live in this world so filled with self-interest and unhealthful passions. Didn't Jesus say: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV); and "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." (John 15:20 NIV)? (See also Matt 6:34; Acts 9:16; Phil 1:29 and 1 Peter 1:6-8)

Should we worry about our suffering? Not at all!

"Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." (1 Peter 3:14 NIV)

Why?

Because the Lover of our soul has "overcome the world" and is with us for eternity! "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:20 NIV)

We must remember that as long as we have accepted Jesus' gift of salvation, no matter what happens to us, we are in the best hands possible, guaranteed to be led right to the pearly gates, where eventually all of us will be in perfect health!

"My toe really hurts!"

God will come through for you in ways you can't imagine!

Rob Chaffart

Would you like to read part 3? The Problem With Pain



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