Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Problem With Resentment

 Years ago I had a vivid dream of two scorpions. The larger was on the back of my right hand, and was labeled "resentment." The smaller one was on the back of my left hand, and was labeled, "anger." When I woke up I had arthritic pain in both hands, and that is how my years of joint and muscle pain began. 

Now, I know that we sometimes dream according to what our bodies are feeling; if we are thirsty, we may dream of being in a desert, or if we are hungry, we might dream of a banquet we can't quite reach. Of course I'm not saying that all arthritic pain has its roots in anger and resentment.  I think I dreamed about those scorpions because my hands were hurting, but the labels they wore sure seems characteristic of the way the Lord sometimes speaks to us. And, at that time I did have a body of anger and resentment that needed confession and cleansing.  

My years of recurrent arthritic pain were probably due to fibromyalgia.  It is interesting that, at this writing, I haven't had a severe flare of this kind of pain for a couple of years. We don't expect any kind of physical ailment to improve with age, but for me, at this time, I have less arthritic pain than I suffered when I was younger.  

Resentment and anger are poisonous emotions not only because they cause damage to our own hearts and minds, but because they effectively blind us to God's comfort and guidance.  

Physical infirmities come to us from many sources, for many reasons of which only God is aware. We can never judge another person's illness or our own, saying, this happened because of sin; remember Jesus said of the blind man, "Neither this man or his parents sinned (John 9:3)."  

 The Lord used my physical infirmity to point out a spiritual ill.  I repented almost immediately but suffered over 20 years of frequent bouts of pain and physical exhaustion that I don't believe were sin-related. 

God is merciful. He uses the suffering we encounter in this world to our ultimate blessing.  We can't understand the "whys," but we can trust that He will work out everything according to His good and perfect will. The Lord hears us when we cry out, is with us in  suffering, and is merciful.  We can always trust in His love.  

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