You really do hurt, but that is not the question.
All things . . . but I will not be brought
under the power of any —I Corinthians 6:12
I am sorry. I sympathize. But is that a prologue to “I quit?” Before quitting, consider: “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, …let us run… the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus… who endured the cross”(Heb.12:1-). The stands are full of witnesses —not simply spectators nor observers. They testify; that is what witnesses do. All are scarred; they know about pain; They hurt and bled, but did not quit!
“I know what God wants me to do, but I hurt!” You tell that to Jesus on his way to Golgotha -—his back flayed by the scourge, his brow dripping blood from the crown of thorns, and a torturous cross on the horizon. Jesus said, “I lay down My life for the sheep…This command I have received from My Father”(Jno.10:15). Jesus understands hurting — and still doing what God commands.
Explain that you hurt to Paul as he sits in a jail cell with his feet in stocks –his back bruised from a beating with rods. Then explain to that host in Hebrews 11 who “had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment …were stoned,…sawn in two, …tempted, …slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented.(Heb.11:36). Complain to countless martyrs who died horrible deaths rather than deny Jesus or do anything other than what God wanted. Still you lament “I hurt” — with not one drop of blood shed! — without a bruise or scar from serving Jesus! And you are going to quit? Can you face those witnesses?
The world would starve if hurting people quit work. Businesses would fail —world production would plummet if all hurting people did not work. Families would be a disaster if hurting mothers quit keeping the home. Children would go hungry if hurting fathers quit work. Churches would fold up if hurting people quit.
SO— I hear you. You really do hurt —lots — bad. But that is not the question! “What will you do while you hurt” — that is the question! Take an aspirin, and go to work. Working gets your mind off yourself and your pain. Worship. You will not hurt anymore worshiping than watching TV. Talk to people about their soul. Your arthritis will hurt no worse than when talking about your aches and problems. Tend to God’s business —just like you tend to your shopping — all while you hurt!
Paul said, “I will not be brought under the power of any.” Slave to none but Jesus! –including headaches, arthritis, —- pains of all sorts great and small. Life is not over because you hurt. Do not lose your productive life over an ailment. It is bad enough to die from an ailment without also going to hell over it!
Bible Comments, 2, a publication by Joe Fitch originally intended for distribution among small congregations in Texas.
Used here by kind permission.