(Note: A downloadable PDF copy of this lesson is available on the last page.)
Does personal peace allow you to endure more pain?
Is peace the absence of pain?
“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10, NIV
“This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24, NKJV
Several years ago I had some difficulty digesting one of my wife’s typical, sumptuous, delicious Christmas dinners. The discomfort lasted several days and a physician neighbor urged me to go to the hospital the next morning for a blood test.
A short time after the examination, he came into the waiting room and told me my appendix had to come out immediately. My reply was, “Hey, let’s cool it and think it over for a few days. I know you need the work, but let’s slow down here.” He assured me that he was serious. I was to go at once to a hospital room, and he would operate as soon as I could be prepared for surgery. Prior to this I had only been hospitalized for two days to give an injured knee some rest.
The next thing I knew I awoke from the effects of the anesthesia. For two days my total attention was focused on me and my excruciating, horrible, unendurable pain! The pain was so bad that I’d consider carefully before even moving a hand! All the muscles in my body would become tense, anticipating another knife-stabbing pain.
The first day after surgery, a nurse insisted that I get out of bed and take a few steps.
“You are kidding,” I said. “There is no way you’ll get me to do that!”
Unyielding, she firmly made me get up. The pain was incredible. A cold sweat all over my body added to my amazing, unbelievable discomfort. I would cringe with every move. To take one more step seemed inconceivable. She claimed that to move around was a shortcut to healing and to the elimination of future extended pain. But returning to my bed was beyond consideration. I told the nurse that I would just remain standing in the middle of the room if it was okay with her. Remaining firm, she forced me back into bed. Exhausted, all I could concentrate on was my painful body bathed in sweat. All I wanted was a pill to rescue me from my misery.