Borrowed Truths

Go or Don’t

Borrowed Truths

Go or Don’t

My Loving wife and I had that conversation again this morning as we took our early dawn walk around the block with our very old dog, a daily ritual that has gone from tugs on the leash back and forth across the sidewalk with much jumping, to an almost saunter, where life is slower, and the squirrels are noticed but no longer chased anymore. We will miss him greatly when he is gone, for he is our friend, and has been a joy and a blessing.

The conversation turned to a particular pain I was experiencing as we strolled and waited for our little buddy to sniff a spot that he was intrigued by. The pain I was feeling was not a new one, it tends to come and go as so many of them do, but it was a little more than a discomfort this morning. I have long since learned not to try to hide these from my wife, for she is astute and caring of me, and it is one of my greatest joys to know that she is. “Do you think you should go and get that checked out?” is the statement that she generally uses, and this sentence that is always spoken in deep love and concern usually brings the thoughts of my mind to God’s plan for His children, the trials and tribulations that He allows to enter into our lives.

Professional sports players are paid to do a job, and many of them are paid very well, and for this renumeration of services provided, they are expected to maintain, as much as possible, a body that is always at the peak of physical performance. In nearly every high-profile sport though there is always a chance that the machine, the human body as it were, will suffer a breakdown and then will not be able to perform at its highest level. A twisted ankle, a jammed thumb, a concussion, or even a broken limb, anyone of these and innumerable others can pull these individuals from the contest, some for only short periods of time, others though are never able to participate again. For these injuries that are minor, in a loose sense of the wording, the body can be repaired and the friendly rivalry can resume, but for those that can never play again in the sport that they have most likely spent a major part of their lives training and  practicing for, the mind becomes the battlefield, the foe, as it were, that must be conquered, for in one of the truest senses of the verse, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41)

There are far too many people today, those that live the regular day-to-day life, that may be misunderstanding of the “why” of God’s allowance of these physical pains to enter into our lives, and though we truly have no right whatsoever to question our Lord, we are inquisitive beings, and while no irreverence is intended, I do not believe He minds too much if we ask why. If as so many of them do, run to the doctor office or local clinic every time an ache or pain of unknown origin invades their body, are they missing out on something that our Lord is attempting to reveal to them, or are they foolish for not seeking the advice of  physician to cure the current malady. Therein is the great question, go or don’t, and I will assure you that are reading this of one thing, I will not be able to answer it here.

There are those that will rush their small child to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, and to the emergency room at the occurrence of a sneeze, and others, when their small one incurs a cut on the hand that requires stitches, are told to ‘just put a band-aid on it’ as my wonderful wife can attest to. When we feel a pain deep inside of us, is it cancer or the body which “is fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) telling us that perhaps we overdid it just a little yesterday. Should we continue to pray for someone who is 97 years old and in seriously failing health to be healed, or should we learn to let go. I realize that this is a very difficult subject, but if we do not search the Scriptures and seek the Face of God in these, and all other matters, when they occur, and they will, Satan’s attacks will find a firmer grip in our lives, and the possibility of dishonoring the Name of our Lord is not the desire of any of His children.

Though I am still researching, as it were, in the Scriptures the subject of Paul’s thorn in his side, (2nd Cor. 12:7) I am slowly coming to the conviction that this pain was not physical but was the result of the church in Corinth. They showed incredible growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ at the first, a flame of love that was growing exponentially, but then, almost overnight, it began to die, and this was more, in a sense, than Paul could handle, the burden for them was so great for them from him. Contrary to what many believe, I do not believe it was his eyesight, for not once in the Scriptures does he complain about this, or any of the other numerous trials, beatings, whippings, and shipwrecks, these are mentioned only for our growth, and all of these physical pains that God brought into his life were welcomed by Paul, for to be a “partaker in the fellowship of Christs suffering” (Phil. 3:10) in every aspect was his desire, and should be ours also.

Therein lies the partial answer to my lovely wife’s question, the question we must all of us ask when these pains of the flesh assail us, the question none of us will truly have an answer for till we walk into glory with a body that will never feel pain again, “Do you think you should get that checked out?”

More times than I can count, I have had people ask me when I can retire and I have always had one of two pat answers for them, depending on how the Lord leads. The first, “Age has nothing to do with retirement, money does.” And the second, “A Christian does not know what the word ‘retirement’ means,” for the day that the Lord our God is finished with the work He has for us here is the day we go home. The question always seems to revolve, though, around the price of the inevitable cost of health care as we get older and when they can start applying whatever particular benefits they may be able to receive when they reach a certain age in the country that they live in, such as they have in the United States called Medicare and Medicaid.

It is sad to say, but even among Christians, the great fear is watching a life’s worth of savings dwindle down to nothing, used up entirely so that one does not have to feel pain, will to be able to function as we once long ago used to, to stay alive just one more day, one more hour. Though life is a great gift from God, it is not the greatest, His Son Jesus Christ is, and if we are to die to self, (Mark 8:35) and it is true, which it is, “that we must through must tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22) then how should we handle the pain that God allows into our lives.  Should we never stop praying for someone to be healed, or should we ask of our Lord to show them, or us, His perfect will in the time of suffering. When should we pray for someone to be set free from this mortal husk, and walk into an eternity of joy and pleasure. (Psalm 16:11) Christians seem to be the only ones who are blessed beyond measure by The Lord our God in knowing for a fact where they are going when they leave this life, but seem constantly trying to pray people into staying here.

I am so sorry my friends that I do not have an answer for you. We must all follow the path that our Savior has set before us, no matter the cost, and no matter the circumstances that He blesses us with. “Thy will be done” must always be on our lips and in our hearts. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11) He has blessed us with common sense, but that great gift must never override our complete trust in His will for our lives, and if we truly seek nothing in this life but to ensure that His name is exalted above the heavens, (Psalm 57:5) it never will.

May you be blessed with knowledge in this area, may your prayers be unhindered, may you in all wisdom and spiritual understanding know his will in every area of your life. May your character in Christ never be altered, whether He lay His hand upon you, or wraps them around you.

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