Jeremiah 15:18 Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, As waters that fail? NKJV
Of Pleasure and PAIN
I was a latch-key kid. Both my parents worked and not only did I come home each night to an empty home, but in the mornings I was daily left to take care of myself in an early morning tradesman’s, hurried and hastily vacated house.
My father always left me some money hidden in my morning shoes or at the bottom of a clean pair of socks, just enough to by some sweet candy for later on in the lonely day. The early morning comfort of sugar however, was just too much of a temptation for a little child and so each day, I would trot five minutes up the road and into the newsagents for some company, which was for me, my morning comic, the pages oozing with the fresh smell of printers ink and bursting fat with the dancing antics of 'Dennis the Menace'. To accompany this paper fix of friendship, I would also purchase a long dark bar of chocolate to dip in my hot and waiting cup of three-sugared tea. I did this every day and not surprisingly, it was only at the age of twelve, when I started to have my first real dental issues.
The pull of sugar has remained with me for the rest of my life, as has the consequent dental destruction. Yes, sugar has comforted me, but has also cost me dearly. I have paid for it in cuts and crowns, root canals, antibiotics, vast amounts of mercury poisoned amalgam, braces and bridges and no doubt in the future, in implants implacable! Most of all however, I have paid for my passing pleasure, my white crystalled comfort, by being in seeming constant dental pain. Tell me, apart from sea sickness, is there any worse pain than that from an impacted and infected chipped and fissured molar? Poor sweet baby, if you have toothache tonight, I am so sorry for you. These words to follow my pre-amble might not comfort you too much tonight then, so I hope you will at least find the first part of the testimony of Romeo to a healer's drugs, to be oh so true for you!
“O true apothecary, Thy drugs are quick.” Tonight then, may your doctors drugs be quick, for the night in its quietness, seems only to lengthen the passing of time and amplify the presence of the pulsating pain of teeth gone wrong.
In both the seen and the unseen realms which we inhabit, God has made us to be sentient beings, experiencing comfort and closeness, distance and fear, pleasure and pain. Like us all, maybe more than us, Adam and Eve were also created jam- packed full of tingling and touching, testing and tasting nerve endings of every kind. So much so, that eastward in a place called Eden, even within the very boundaries of the garden of God, I am sure you could hear shouts of “Whoopee!” and other happy chants of “Hallelujah and Praise God,” as well as the many cries of 'Oowees, Yikes and Ouch' Oh yes! I am sure Adam ‘Mmmmm’d’ and drooled over the best of fruit, and also that if Adam had hit his thumb with a hammer, that it would glow red in throbbing pain as he did the famous ‘One Hand Shaking Oooo-aah Dance!’ Yes, even in God’s economy, if an angel were ever to accidentally fly into a window, I am sure both its ego and its wings would all be broken!
Do you see the rule here? For where the sensation of pleasures can be most wonderfully felt then so can the presence of pulsating pain. God has made us sentient beings and intends us to remain so.
For me then, there is no doubt that in the resurrection and in the restoration of all things to a fuller and fitting glory, that there will be the presence of the policeman of pain, telling us of the hurt and warning us of the danger of continuing to practice pain. I am also sure however, and this is most important, that unlike these times under this failing sun, in the resurrection and in the restoration of all things to a fuller and fitting glory, any restorative growth as the result of the healings of painful hurts, will not be trying, will not even be painful in itself, but rather be a most pleasurable experience! Yes, I believe there will be some kinds of necessary pain in the age to come. For where there is pleasure, there is also pain. Do you see the rule here?
Having said all that, I am also most convinced that the deepest of pains, that is, the diseases of the body, the diseases of the mind and of the heart, will not follow us to heaven. The pain of loss, the pains of absence and loneliness will all be gone, never to return again. The pain of guilt and the pain of shame, the pain of condemnation, the pain of accusation, the pain of hopelessness, even the deep pain of the midnight darkness of debilitating depression, shall all be gone, never to return again. For where these things remain, they would turn even heaven into a living hell. This cannot be so.
Believe me when I tell you that the healing of these deeper pains to a permanent removal is in every way, most wonderful, in every way most marvellous and in every way to me, the most miraculous of all the wonders of a healing heaven. Yes, I truly believe that He shall remove once and for all time, those deeper and most dreadful pains!
Meanwhile, this side of the restoration, all of us shall experience the pain of an eating rot. Even buxom beauties, all set in shining, smiling and whitened teeth; with strength bound up in tight and toned up muscle and tanned and supple skin, shall all be gone and soon, yes, so very soon, be eaten by the worm of death, which by the way, always begins its meal as breath and hope, which dance together in our bodies in an embrace of fond futility. Yes, diseased pain is a dreadful portent that we shall one day die. DO NOT IGNORE IT SUCH PAIN, no, try and fix it but above all, always let it lead you to an eternal cure in Jesus.
Tonight then and on the morrow, may you always find a great dentist and a good doctor, an insightful psychiatrist and a kind psychologist. May you always have the money to pay for their services, but may the day come sooner rather than later, when in all your pained diseases, you seek an eternal cure for the eternal problem of death that lies within you. May you soon, so very soon, find a Curer for your souls and with them, find the cure Himself. May the presence of Jesus, deliver you now, or at the least, dull your diseased pains until He delivers you from them forever!
Lastly, before you sleep tonight, thank God with me for dentists and for Novocain, for doctors and for the helps and healings of every kind that we can now find so easily under this quickly setting sun.
Listen:- And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain , for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said,”Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:4,5 NKJV
Pray:- O Lord, let there be for those in diseased pain of every kind tonight, a gentle touch of Jesus in their long and painful night. Indeed my Lord, we pray for those in pain, that You would grant Your beloved sleep. For those O Lord, who must however travel through the night with this terrible companion, may You strengthen them with both Your presence and Your preserving power, so that they may never be eternally hurt. Please Lord, for their sake and even for our sake, rid them of this great robber of their joy, this mocker of Your redemption, this pisser on their peace, this eating worm of death, this most dreadful eating pain. We ask O Lord that you do this both for them and for us. Finally father, my imagination fails me in the wonder of the removal of even the remembrance of such deep diseased pain. Yet I long for that day, yes Lord I thank You tonight for that certain day a-coming, when under the Son of Your love, You shall banish this pain forever to the pit of hell! Lord thank You, that somehow, even someday soon, You shall make us truly well and truly whole once more. Amen.