It Will Only Hurt For A Little While
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
After tarrying with the Holy Spirit, laying at the throne of Grace, seeking the face and advice of my God, he dropped this word into my spirit – It will only hurt for a little while. If you will allow me to just have a conversation with you this evening, I promise you I won’t be long. When God placed this topic into my spirit, I immediately began to have flashbacks to when I was a little girl. When I was younger, I was extremely clumsy. Grace was not my middle name. In fact if there was a piece of string on the floor, I would trip and fall over it. So needless to say, I had several battle scars. I thank God for a grandma that had them special remedies to take away pockmarks and scars. However, whenever someone fell in our household, there was a ritual that always played out. My mother would always come to the rescue with a tray with an array of antiseptics, soap, water, sponge, and bandages. Now, I will let you know, I acted a fool every time this scenario played out. You would think, since this happened to me frequently, I would eventually get better, but that was never the case. Why, because when mom would apply the iodine, and the alcohol, and the bactine, and the peroxide, and the salves, and the ointments, it would sting! Each time I would beg mom… “Just put a band-aid on it”, and each time she would respond, “If I don’t clean it, it will get infected, and besides it will only hurt for a little while.” Well to me that two to three minutes of pain when that dropper dispensed that iodine into my gaping wound seemed like an eternity. Finally, one day, when I was about twelve, I fell down again. As usual, my mom brought out the trays with the array of antiseptics. This time I decided I would take a stance. “Listen mom, I think I am old enough to start making some of my on decisions, and I just want a band-aid on this sore.” Mom naturally stated her usual statement… “If I don’t clean it, it will get infected, besides, it will only hurt for a little while.”
But I was adamant. I put my foot down. I was after all twelve years old and knew something. Mom conceded, put the band-aid on the wound, and I strutted away as if I had done a miraculous healing. Unfortunately, there was no healing…. in fact, after a couple of days the area became tender. Two or three days later, my leg began to swell. A few days later, the sore was oozing and I couldn’t take the band-aid off because it was stuck. Needless to say, mom had to take me to the emergency room. The doctor peeled the band-aid away from my skin sighed. He explained to me that if the infection had gotten any worse they would have had to lance it, pack it, and wrap it and that the procedure would have been very painful and I would have been in the hospital for a day or two getting antibiotics. He looked at the nurse and she left the room and returned with a tray with an array of antiseptics. I began to whimper and my mother chuckled and replied, well it will hurt a little longer than it would have, but it still will only hurt for a little while.
Well I’ve come with some news this evening Missouri Conference. God is trying to pour on the antiseptic on our wounds, hurts, and pains. His desire is that we don’t take the seemingly easy way out by using band-aid fixes. He told me to stop by and confirm what the word says, that it will only hurt for a little while. We have applied enough band-aids to open wound and gaping sours. You know, when we as pastors don’t feel like doing the work and instead of taking the necessary steps to do what we need to do, we blame our failures or lack of success on our predecessors, our presiding elder, our bishop, or whoever we felt did not support our program. When congregations don’t like the pastor, they got, but when they get a new pastor, they begin writing letters and making phone calls to get the old pastor back. When new programs are implemented, because it was never done that way before, instead of trying it out, we immediately revert back to what we know or just don’t participate at all. Oh, these band-aids just don’t affect the church house, the affect our individual houses. If we don’t want to work on a marriage, we take out the divorce bandage. If we don’t want to pay our bills we take out the bankruptcy band-aid. If we don’t want to wait on God and read His word, we apply the Oprah or Dr. Phil or who ever the talk show host of the day may be…. But God is trying to tell us, that if we don’t allow Him to apply the antiseptic to our wounds, that we will get infection. You know infection of gossip, envy, and jealousy. The infection of pride, self-righteousness, and deceit. The infection of laziness, rebellion, and disobedience. The infection of loveless actions and haughty attitudes. The state that we are in right now is because we applied band-aids. True the antiseptic will sting for a minute. Yes when God pours that antiseptic into your wound you will be reminded of your ill spoken word and you will have to go and ask that person to forgive you…. but it will only hurt for a little while. Yes when he pours in the antiseptic into you wound, you may be convicted about the lies you helped to propagate, and you will have to eat some crow and retract your statement, but it will only hurt for a little while. Yes when he pours on the antiseptic, you could recall that you have not be faithful in your pastoral charge and that you have reacted in knee jerk fashion hurting the folk your were supposed to serve and you will have to make amends for it… but it will only hurt for a little while. Yes when he pours on the antiseptic, you could be reminded of some unholy plots and plans you participated in, and you will have to do what is necessary to make it right, but the pain will only last for a little while. Yes the antiseptic provided in the blood of Jesus, is the total cleansing agent, the one thing that can wash away… yeah…