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Pain: It’s About the Heart

All trials come down to being a heart issue. Last night I experienced the worst pain I’ve felt since my legs were mangled almost three years ago. It was relentless and prevented me from sleeping. How does one get through these issues? Here are three things that help me:

1. Gratitude

Yes, that’s right, I said gratitude. What’s to be thankful for when you discover phantom limb pains are not so phantom at all? They’re the real deal and your nerves are miss-firing every which way while your brain turns up the amps and tries to find something. Well, I’m thankful:

a. that I’m not experiencing this in a war zone without proper medical attention.

b. for the fact that I’m driven to Christ.

c. that this episode signifies a new chapter and the possibility of thriving mobility.

d. for verses like James 1:2-4 which are even more real than phantom pains. We are sanctified through these things.

How is this all measured? By our response.

In this case, it’s my response to pain and sleeplessness. Do I get grumpy in the morning because my rubber toast is cold? (It must be said that this is my fault – it took me a while to get to my breakfast. The food here is very good). No I must thank God that I have any food at all while I am experiencing this painful thing.

Another thing that helps me is:

2. Eternal perspective

Yes, that’s right – an eternal perspective. This is temporary; a blink of an eye in light of eternity (and a glorious eternity it is!). 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 covers this well and in light of suffering.

One more thing:

3. God’s Word

God’s Word helps me most, accompanied by the Holy Spirit who makes it real and makes the change inside of me. I can’t cherry pick what I think are the sweet promises of God and not go to the rock-solid passages I list below. No, I must get to the heart of what God is doing and He says what that is in the passages like these. I pray you’ll find the comfort I have if or when you are struggling.

God is good and builds us. What a tremendous tool box he has!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…Romans 5:2-4

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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The Calling Abyss

“Whenever I find myself in the cellar of affliction, I always look about for the wine.”

Samuel Rutherford
https://www.pexels.com/@elti-meshau-107925

The abyss is calling. It is calling everyone with nothing. It offers nothing, takes nothing and gives nothing. Who will answer its call? Normally the answer is nobody, but when people are in pain, then nothing can appear to be a better option. This is when the abyss really re-states it’s call: “I offer nothing, take nothing and give nothing.”

It’s at this point when the call can be tempting. Pain or nothing? The problem is, the more you move into the abyss the more it calls you in. “I offer nothing, take nothing and give nothing.”


If you answer it’s call the problem is that one day you will look around and there will be nothing! You can shout, rant and rave at the abyss and it will take it all and then then still not care because all it will offer, take and give is nothing.

It will just try to draw you in all the more.


To choose life may mean to choose pain, but it is the better option. It may be the hard option but it leads to life. When you hear the abyss calling it is better to turn your back to it and choose life instead, even if it means dealing with pain and hurt. It can be the hard choice to make but it is the better choice to make.


For us as Christians, choosing life can very much so be turning to God.
Choosing life can also mean not doing what you feel you want to do. We may need to take it one step at a time, but one small step in the right direction is one small step back to life. They may not be easy steps to take but they are steps that lead back to life.

Rather than allowing ourselves to be drawn into nothing it is better to try and choose life. As always some things are easier said than done. Part of the journey is to be aware that we have a choice. Then we need to endeavour to make the right choices.

This article was written by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous (for now). I am honoured to publish his thoughts for him.

Behold the Beauty: 2020 Focus

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

A few days ago, someone close to me reminded me of some of my less finer days.  This person didn’t mean to do so, as things came up in casual conversation.  However, the details of my vileness were brought to the forefront of my mind and I felt filthy.  I felt like a grotesque worm wriggling in rancid heaps of rotting refuse.  It was like someone dumped some smelly, dark sludge over the pure white robe of righteousness that was issued to me by the Captain of my soul.  I felt useless and wondered why in the world I was left in the world.  There I wallowed for two days in the ultimate funk.  I know this was not the proper reaction from me but I couldn’t seem to help it.  I am keenly aware that there was some sort of enemy seizing the moment to take me out of action.  It worked magnificently as my focus was on my poor, pitiful self and not the Savior.   

Don’t feel sorry for me.  Oftentimes I think very highly of myself.  I can go the exact opposite way, look at the Saviour and start thinking about the wonderful things he can do for me.  I can even turn our worship songs into a session of self-focus.  Look at me!  Look how much God loves me!  Look what he’s doing for me!  That’s a lot of me.  Don’t get me wrong – we need to understand as much as possible how much he loves us and has given so much for us.  But can we begin to worship the giver’s gifts?  I think so.  So, it is good to stop.  It’s good to stop thinking about ourselves.  Shift the focus. 

I’ve traveled a fair amount, mostly due to being in the Air Force, and have seen some beautiful things.  The Scottish Highlands (notice I mention that first), the Swiss Alps, The Great Lakes (where I’m from), The West Coast Highway, and Great Redwood Forest, to name a few.  When I think about it, I’ve never taken in the spectacular scenes of the Grand Canyon and said “it’s doing so much for me!”  or “Look how it’s making me look!”  No, I just look.  The picture is there, live, in all its glory and there’s very little thought of me at all.  Instead it’s just there and I can’t help but focus on it.  We can recognize the beauty as a gift of God, but let it remind us of the ultimate beauty of God himself.  Let our focus stay right there.  It’s a great way to start the New Year.