62: Pain’s Panacea

62: Pain’s Panacea

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Pain’s Panacea

By Florence Crago

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

~Luke 8:43-44

On a Saturday evening, after a long, hard day of packing and driving, we arrived at our new home with our three young children and a trailer full of household items, clothing, etc. We were all dead tired, the kids were cranky, and my husband and I were faced with the task of preparing food and beds for us all. I was grateful that my recurrent toothache had not bothered me most of that day.

The dentist had told me that the cause of my excruciating toothache was a wisdom tooth pressing against the tooth next to it. It might need to be extracted in time, he said, or it might decide to lie dormant. While settling the kids for the night, my jawbone began to pound with pain as it had never done before. I tried everything — aspirin, a hot water bottle, an ice bag — with no relief. In an effort to escape the torture, I tossed and turned in bed that night, trying to stifle my crying so my husband could sleep.

Finally, in desperation, I prayed, “God, I’ve done everything I can to stop this pain. I don’t even know where to find a dentist in this town and at this hour. Please, you take it! I don’t think I can stand it any longer.” Then I remembered the woman in the Bible who believed she would be healed if only she could touch Jesus’s cloak. If only I could touch Jesus!

I must have passed out. Quite suddenly, God and I were standing together on a beautiful pink cloud in a lovely blue sky. I could not see His face, but I could feel His presence. It even seemed like His arm was around my shoulders. Together, we were looking at my writhing body on the bed. The searing pain was red, and it was interesting to watch as it dug into my jaw. Amazingly, I felt nothing of the pain.

Then it was morning. The pain was gone. I had had a refreshing sleep. Some may say that the medicines I’d taken had induced unconsciousness. Or that the tooth had reached the dormancy the dentist had referred to. It makes no difference to me. I’m convinced that God took that pain from me in a powerful moment of wordless communion with Him.

Thirty years later, the guilty tooth was extracted — not for any problem or because of pain, but simply because it was lying there, doing nothing.

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