If we can encourage others, we should encourage them.
~Romans 12:8

Monday, January 12, 2009

Can you persevere past your pain?

Anointed Messenger Journal Entry
Sat 8/9/08

On TV I saw some of those animal attack/incident shows and God used them to speak to me. One thing is there were several stories of people having awful encounters with animals. They got attacked while fishing and mauled by dogs and all kinds of horrible things. But they all kept on doing what they had been doing. One boy was stabbed in the throat by a Black Marlin and it tore up his throat and he almost died but he still fishes today and just shares it as a story. Now he says fishing is a “contact sport.” I admire his tenacity. A woman was stung by 500 bees and she endured horrible pain and almost died too but today she still uses honey bees on her farm. It’s part of the family’s tradition/business and she didn’t let her painful near death experience ruin that. I heard all these stories and thought ‘Wow they’re crazy’ and ‘Wow what gumption.’ I do admire that kind of perseverance. God was showing me people who overcame adversity and never gave up.

God also showed me something really deep about perseverance and forgiveness. There was a puppy that had gotten trapped in the ice. A rescue team went through all this trouble to save the puppy. They couldn’t reach it so they inflated a raft and went out to it risking their own lives. A man finally got to the puppy and reached down to pick up the struggling puppy when it suddenly and unexpectedly bit him in the face. Startled and hurt the man fell backwards in the raft. I was angered when I saw it. The nerve of that dog! They went through all this trouble to save him and he attacks his rescuer? Part of me thought “That’s what you get little dog; you signed your own death warrant.”

The man was bleeding everywhere and needed medical care. The puppy bit him pretty hard right in the face and he needed stitches. I assumed the focus would shift to rescuing the man; but this determined man was an animal lover. He didn’t give up on the dog and eventually did rescue him. He said he knew that the dog was upset and disoriented. The man said that once he wrapped the puppy in a warm blanket he was the sweetest puppy in the world. The man almost lost an eye and did get stitches but he saved that dog’s life.

I was really convicted. I said Lord I know I’m not there yet. I would have let that dog die. I would have abandoned that dog to tend to my own injuries and been angry at the dog on top of it. I said Lord help me get to that point where I can have that type of forgiveness. I immediately thought of [someone I know]. I’ve been praying for her but I haven’t made contact with her yet. I know that she will probably “bite me in the face” and I don’t want to deal with that. Like that dog she’s hurting and confused and lashes out at people, even those who are trying to save her. Last time I reached out to her she lashed out at me and I abandoned her to tend to my own injuries. I thought I’m going through my own trials, I don’t need her attacking me when I am trying to help.

I felt justified and surely no one would have judged that man for leaving the dog to tend to his injuries. He’d made a valiant effort and it was rejected. But that man persevered and saw beyond his own need and pain to help another. If this man could do this to save a dog, not even a peer; how much more should a Christian be expected to do? Watching the program I got revelation. I need to persevere past the point when you are bitten in the face. That attack was shocking and unexpected, but it came from duress. The man stuck with the dog and once it was wrapped in the blanket it was “the sweetest dog in the world.”

Lord help me get to that point where people are wrapped in Your loving arms; when they are under Your covering. Help me get past my own pain and wounds so I can save the lost. I believe You have called me to heal the brokenhearted and I want to answer the call. Show me how to do this and help me persevere, undaunted by failures, and tragedies. Help me get through the whole process with those who are hurting.

I thought about Jesus and all the wounds He suffered for saving us. The Christian life is about sacrifice and looking past yourself to help another.

If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:6-7 NIV

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