It’s not a totally new speed to me, but it suddenly felt almost surreal.
A couple intercepted me before I could get into the service. Their first words were, “We sensed we needed to talk to you because you believe in the power of prayer.”
I almost redirected them on the spot.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the power of prayer, it’s just that, well, with my life experience these past few years, let’s just say I’m in a different place with that than someone might expect who says to me “You believe in the power of prayer.” But as I listened, I realized they weren’t looking for what actually would have been yet another rendition of the “Heal this man, O Lord!” or “Satan, let go of this man!” or “I rebuke that pain in Jesus name!”
And the medical profession had performed their own equivalent in every way imaginable over the past several years.
And so the question:
“How do I live with this pain since God hasn’t seen fit to release me from it? I’ve come to you because from what we know of your story, you know about living with pain.”
I’ve often observed that we don’t choose our ministry, our vocation. It chooses us.
And GOD I hate this choice.
“If I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwilling, then an oikonomia has been faithed to me,” says Paul. At least that’s how I would playfully render it. Oikonomia is literally “house-law” and has a direct connection with our word “economy.” It’s the “law of the house” by which the goods are distributed to the members of the household.
Paul didn’t volunteer for his role as “economist” in the kingdom of God. “Necessity” was laid upon him, leaving him with the choice of being faithful in that role, or walking away from the table.
It would seem that I likewise have necessity laid upon me.
A steward of suffering.
An economy of pain.
Why can’t I have the economy of health and wealth and joy and healing?
King of pain.
But there it was. There he was, literally unable to sit for long because of the pain no one can remedy or exorcise from his body.
Can you tell me, how do you live with the pain?
How do you go on wanting to live with the pain?
And I took a deep breath…
because you’re probably hearing it in your head already…