Pain in the Neck

I was recently diagnosed to have “cervical spondylosis”.

Scary medical term, huh?

It only means though that I have arthritis of the neck, at least that’s how my good doctor explained it to me — that my neck is older than my age. Without proper care of the neck, the painful sensation can radiate from my neck down to my arms. Quite painful, to be honest, when it is at its peak like say two weeks ago when I was rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

Now, two weeks later, and feeling much, much better, I got a chance to reflect and see my situation through my spiritual lenses.

My lifelong burden is basically a “pain in neck”, in both the literal and figurative sense. No more carrying of heavy stuff. No more random sleep posture at night. No more playing basketball. Quite a burden to carry for the rest of my life, don’t you think so?

Well, not until you see it from the perspective of Someone who carried something on his back in worse circumstances.

Compared to His burden which broke his spine, my burden only scarred a portion of mine.

I caused my burden, He didn’t cause His.
Mine was a pinch while His was a punch.
Mine can be relieved by medication while His can be relieved only by crucifixion.
Mine can be eased by therapy while His can be eased only by death.

And here’s the clincher: His burden was for my salvation.

Could I not then at least share in His burden by offering my pain for the salvation of others?

Everytime the shooting pain radiates from the neck to the arm, let it be for that lonely man behind bars who misses his family day after day.

Everytime the discomfort comes at night, let it be for that woman trapped in that marriage with that violent man.

Everytime a wrong posture hurts, let it be for that troubled young man hooked into drugs.

How about you? Are you going through some kind of physical or emotional pain now? Use it well. Offer it for the salvation of souls. Let it be your humble share in the salvific act of Christ.

Let your every pain, discomfort, irritation, and burden this week echo so loudly in eternity with every soul saved.

As for me, the pain in my neck will always serve as a reminder that my sins dealt the pain on the neck of my Savior.

The least I can do is share in that pain…even just a little and even just for a little while.

Have a blessed week ahead!

*————————–*
P.S. Thanks for all those who have been praying for me! I am getting better by the day!

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Just Like Before

I miss those days when my faith was simpler and less complicated…

When listening to talks were more often than giving them;
When serving God was measured not so much by how people responded to my service but by how I responded to God;
When worship was something I simply enjoyed, not something I lead;
When all fellowship needed in order to happen was fun, not funds;
When praying was a choice gladly made not a chore sometimes merely complied with.

Don’t get me wrong.

Being a Christian leader nowadays is indescribably amazing. But once in a while, it’s good to recall what it means to just be simple Christian madly in love with his God.

Just like before.

An Honoring for My Wife

TO THE WOMAN WHO:

Accepted my past;
Overlooked my flaws;
Gave wisdom to my follies;
Provides direction when I’m lost.

Gave meaning to my confusion;
Gave hope in my despair;
Gave me wings so I can fly:
Gave me comfort when I cry.

Loved me in my worst;
Loved me in my best;
Loved me today;
Love me tomorrow;
Will love me until the end;
Through each of life’s joy and sorrow.

Happy birthday to my dear wife, Jeng!