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Parable of the Toothache

April 10, 2017

In 17th century England there was a foolish merchant with an extreme pain in his head. First he went to his priest. After the priest listened to the man’s problem he said, “I know the answer so that thou might rest. We must get rid of the demon, for you are possessed!” After the ritual the merchant went home with no relief.


The next day he went to see the city doctor. After explaining his problem the doctor assured the merchant that he could get rid of the pain in his head. He sedated the foolish merchant and performed surgery. The merchant awoke with a piercing pain in his foot and he heard the doctor say, “To get your mind off your head’s pains and woes, I surgically removed all of your toes.”


In pain, despondent and distraught he next went to the king to seek help and retribution. After he explained his plight, the King responded, “It seems to me that the pain is from a tooth, and did not require the work of a sleuth. I would hope next time that you would be so wise, as to diagnose the problem with open eyes. For you needed a dentist, and not a priest, and by not inquiring of the doctor your toes are now deceased. But have no fear, I will now cure you of this dread, ‘Guards… rid the merchant of pain….off with his head!!!’

 

Moral of the story… Diagnose the problem, so you can diagnose the cure.

 

All this week in the media there has been a focus on pain. USA Today and ABC News in particular have had reports on different aspects of pain and treatment. The one pain, and probably most important, they did not truly dis-cuss was the spiritual pain within.


Now I am certain that within your life, in times present or in past (and most assuredly the future) you experience a pain within. It is so deep inside you that you know that it cannot possibly reside within your body, but is some-where in your soul. You may ask yourself what the pain is, and question why it bothers you so. Sadly enough, you never really even question enough to find out what the pain truly is. You may try and run from it by burying your-self in work, or you may try to control it with an addiction of alcohol or drugs. You may try to in fact, eat it or sleep it away, but it is always there. You may even build up the courage to talk to someone about it, but most likely it is the wrong someone; such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. You turn to man for answers, and what you end up walking away with is more questions… and the pain is still there.


I’ll tell you what it is even though you may reject it. Most people don’t want to hear the truth. (Galatians 4:16) The pain... is the guilt of sin. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” (Psalm 32: 3-4) See how sin tears away at your body and mind? Your heart is convicted. Will you have the courage to listen to it, to confront it, and to change or will you be as the foolish merchant.


A time will come when God will make foolish the wisdom of men but “He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation” (Psalm 149:4) If you want to learn more about how to make this pain cease from your life, contact the person who gave this to you.

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