Saturday, October 27, 2018
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Listen while you read: "At The Cross"1 (Lyrics)

From the time of birth, pain is a fact of life. The actions that we take and the people around us are critically important to what happens with our pain.

Soon after babies learn words like "mommy" or "no", they learn "ouch", or "it hurts", or they say, "I have an owie."

I have five older siblings. One of my first owies came one day when they allowed me to play in a game of baseball. I got a feeble hit and ran to first base. The ball arrived before I did, and I was called "out!" However, I was crying and continued running to my mommy. My siblings assumed that I was a poor loser. In fact, I had been stung by a bee just as I hit the ball. I didn't know what had happened, but I did know that it hurt — a real owie. I raced as quickly as possible, not to first base, but to my source of comfort.

In the prophecy Scriptures, it is written, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God." (Isaiah 40:1 KJV)

One of the residents where I live recently had a tumble — no serious consequences, but a painful experience. The next day, I saw her, still obviously in pain. When I noted that she was still suffering, she pleasantly replied, "Actually, it is much better today." All of us hearing this exchange were encouraged. Coincidentally, this lady is from India, where the famous Dr. Paul Brand spent one-third of his life ministering to lepers. He always has a positive attitude and is always trying to help others.

Dr. Brand is one of my favourite authors. With Philip Yancey, he has co-authored Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image. He has also written Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants, in which he makes the point that life without pain can really hurt us.

While writing about the importance of pain (or the lack thereof for lepers), Dr. Brand writes, "Most of us will one day face severe pain. I am convinced that the attitude we cultivate in advance may well determine how suffering will affect us when it does strike. … We can learn to cope and even to triumph." (pp. 22-23)

I am certain that you have suffered pain. In fact, you are probably now suffering pain. What you do about it will determine your state of mind and your influence on others. Here is the apostle Paul's advice on how to prepare our minds:

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (KJV)

Prayer: Dear God, help us to come to You for comfort in our time of pain. Help us to remember that a positive attitude will both strengthen us and also help others. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Vincent.

    Thanks, Vincent. I also enjoyed Dr. Brand’s book.

    Thank you for a good reminder, Vincent. God bless!

    This sure applies to me and many close to me.
    Thank you.

    just what I needed today since I broke my arm this week. Oh, how the Lord provides.

    So many thanks for your encouraging message which is a much-needed reminder!!

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this devotional with us. May those who need refuge find our Saviour as well as physical safety. Blessings.

    Isn’t it strange to know that birth is painful, yet we spend so much of our lives thinking we should be pain free? Thanks for the timely devotion.

    Thank you, brother Vince, for yet another helpful, positive, glorifying to God message. May you continue to write as long as our Lord allows, for …You still got it my brother!!!

    Vincent, I am learning to recognize your style and substance as you share more devotions. As I read, I speculate on which of my friends may be offering their gift today. You give a memorable and inspiring spin each time. Thank you.

    Hello Vince
    So nice to read another great devotional from you. I knew as soon as I got to I have five….it had to be you. I scrolled down and seeing your name put a warm smile on my face.
    Thank you so much for an inspiring devotional and so true if we hold on to that truth I Philippians 4.
    God bless you.

    Hi Vincent
    Many thanks for the devotional you have written for this morning. Yes, we each have a certain amount of pain to deal with in life and knowing the Lord really helps us to accept and bear it and makes a great difference in our recovery or handling of the situation.
    Blessings for your writings.

    I have been enjoying your devotionals so much. Thank you for them. Keep them coming.
    Today’s hit a chord with me since I am recovering from a broken ankle and will not be able to put any weight on it for a few weeks.
    Patience!! But sometimes the Lord has to hit us over the head, or in my case, grab me by the ankle, to remind us to slow down. Hard when one is the main caregiver for a spouse, but I guess the lesson is that we all need to stop and give thanks for all the good things we still have, instead of worrying about all the things we think we need to be doing.

    Hi Walter:
    Thank you for your very important devotional.
    I had a friend who taught me how to suffer pain. She was dealing with pain that comes from cancer and its treatments. When we got together and visited (she was my neighbour). She would tell me about the terrible things she suffered with, but she made it sound as though she was speaking of the butterflies in her garden. No anger, no self-pity, no why me. She taught me God’s graciousness. When she passsed, the church had standing room only. I knew then how many lives she touched.
    Since then I have tried to be as she was when going through many operations and God’s repairing work.
    I miss her every day but I am so thankful she was in my life and to know that our Lord is here with me always makes me glad.
    God bless you.

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