Fighting through the chemo attacking the stage IV Melanoma, the pain was intense. When visiting my brother in the hospital, I saw a pain chart on the wall that had a smiley face at the top, a frown face on the bottom and several in between reflecting progressive expressions. The nurse explained to me that they used the chart to manage the pain with drugs - it was important for the patient to not waste any energy fighting the pain. Whatever energy a patient has needs to be focused on fighting the cancer.
What a powerful analogy for Christians in this world. There is cancer in society that is causing a lot of pain. There are agendas given voice through a willing media stirring up the pain. This pain frustrates and distracts to the point that we spend most of our energy fighting the pain while the cancer continues to do what cancer does.
I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow attaining to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10. In “My Utmost for His Highest”, Oswald Chambers writes, “In Christian work our initiative and motivation are too often simply the result of realizing that there is work to be done and that we must do it. Yet that is never the attitude of a spiritually vigorous saint. His aim is to achieve the realization of Jesus the Christ in every set of circumstances.” Paul knew Christ. He certainly did the work to be done as an apostle taking the gospel of Jesus to the gentiles. The initiative and motivation was the revelation of Jesus to Saul on the road to Damascus. The result was the realization of Jesus the Christ every time Paul spoke.
Pain can be managed by the absolute Truth, the word of God - “…there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl.1:9) and the eternal perspective helps to manage the present pain. The cancer in society is purged by the word become flesh, Jesus the Christ. Having walked this earth in obedience to His Father all the way to the point of death on a cross, He walked out of the tomb, ascended to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He provided the initiative and motivation to reestablish the relationship our Father desired in the beginning. Through that relationship we can achieve the realization of Jesus the Christ in every set of circumstances and the cancer in society will be purged.
Prayer guide: Lord, I praise You for obedience to the cross, for walking out of the tomb and for sending the Holy Spirit to dwell within me. I confess that I have wasted energy fighting daily frustrations and distractions that would have been better used to reflect You where You have me. Help me be more spiritually vigorous and achieve the realization of You in every set of circumstances as the man, husband and father You expect me to be. Amen.
A faithful father manages the pain and achieves the realization of Jesus the Christ in every set of circumstances.