I stared in a mirror, checking for signs of the disease. I mustn't panic.
First, I must map out the affected area of insensitivity to get some sense of how far the disease had progressed. I sat down, took a deep breath, jabbed the point of the sewing needle into my heel--and yelped.
Never have I felt a sensation as delicious as that live, electric jolt of pain. I laughed aloud at my foolishness. I had only a temporary numbness caused by sitting hunched on the train.
Temporary! There was no leprosy...I breathed a prayer, Thank God for pain!
~ PAIN: THE GIFT NOBODY WANTS
Dr. Paul Brand recounts his momentary scare of contracting leprosy. His feeling of pain meant that he was more alive than dead. As I continue with numbness in just one finger, how often have I said that I'd rather have pain than deadness? (And how quickly would I recant if I did have pain and it were intense?)
Perhaps James knew what he was talking about after all when he said we should be joyful when we have trials. I'm not there yet, but I do get occasional insights into appreciating trials, or rather the outcomes that God can produce through them.
Lord, help us be thankful in even the painful situations you allow into our lives. And to remember: they're all temporary.