Can illness and suffering be beneficial to us?

When Suffering Seems Unbearable Series.

Focusing on What Really Matters. When Suffering Seems Unbearable, Part 4

On the morning of my root canal I awoke refreshed and excited.

I have to admit, however, that the previous weeks had been filled with dread. This was due to the fact that this was not my first root canal, and the first experience left me expecting three hours of constant pain. But today would be different. God had already revealed I would experience Him in an unique way today.

As the procedure was scheduled for early afternoon, I kept myself busy answering emails and updating the online pages of this ministry. Mid-morning however, the dread again began to invade my soul. I was under attack!

I quickly conferred with my Heavenly Father and with His Word, and peace filled me once again. That peace lasted the rest of the day, even when the dentist's office called to say my procedure would be postponed by an hour. In fact, as I drove to the office, I found myself singing praises at the top of my lungs. Then, in mid song, I was reminded that I needed to pray for those in need. I did, immediately.

I arrived at the dentist's office, and my gums were immediately numbed. I had to wait for the dentist to appear, as he was busy with another client, and during that hour, I could hear the whirling and whizzing of his machinery as he relentlessly worked on some unsuspecting tooth. Nonetheless, even this didn't faze me.

Eventually my turn came and I was given my choice of music. I chose Christian music, and with Michael W. Smith and Newsboys keeping me company, the procedure began. Strangely, the longer I sat in the chair, the more my mind drifted to higher places in prayer. I could feel the presence of God's Spirit, and under His direction, I continued to bring up the prayer plights of those in need.

I have to say that I never felt a thing throughout the entire procedure. My thoughts were focussed solely on Jesus and on the needs of those who had prayer requests (See Heb 12:2, 3) and before I knew it, I heard the dentist state: "The procedure is finished."

"Already?" I thought. I had been to God's throne while in that dentist chair, and somehow I didn't want to leave!

The dental specialist made me aware that my tooth had been seriously infected. He gave me an antibiotic and some heavy pain medication. "Your jaw will probably swell and it will be painful for the next few days," he warned me. Very encouraging, but my inner peace was not disturbed.

I never did take that pain medicine, and my jaw never swelled. In fact, I suffered no negative consequences from the procedure whatsoever.

Throughout all of this, I was reminded that no situation is above God. We don't have to let our circumstances terrify us. Our Heavenly Daddy is above them all! "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 NIV)

His peace can be a constant in our lives, if we let Him shine in our heart even when we are in trouble! "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)

Moreover, once we reach the shores of heaven, we will wonder why we even let suffering get the best of us! "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom 8:18 NIV)

We can experience God wherever we are and in whatever circumstances we are facing. We just have to take the time to be with Him and let Him shine.

"Another root canal? Great! I can't wait to see God's provisions being bestowed in my heart! God will be sure to show up and I will be sure to watch for Him!"

P. S. Boy, I am sure glad I didn't take the anaesthetic!

Rob Chaffart

Would you like to know the secret to answered prayers? Read on!

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