Dreaming About Swimming in Aloe Vera. The Problem with Pain, Part 2


The day after our expedition to love Beach, Nassau, Bahamas (See Snorkelling in my Underwear? Disgusting!) I woke up with a very big surprise. I couldn't stand up without experiencing excruciating pain radiating up my legs from both of my feet and ankles! When I looked at them, I was in for a surprise. Where most of my leg was its normal colour, streaks of nasty-looking red, originating from my feet, extended up my ankles and into my calves: Sunburn!

But wait a minute! I took a brief moment to douse myself with sunscreen! How...

Obviously, my moment had been a bit too brief! Close inspection revealed that the natural colour of my legs reached down towards my ankles in finger-width stripes! In my haste to get out in the water with my snorkelling gear, I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my ankles and feet!

My left foot was far worse than the right. In fact, it had the audacity to develop a blister that would eventually grow into the size of an XX-oversized golf ball!

"Time to golf you guys!"

"Get away from my ankles!!! Ouch, Aie…"

The burn was far beyond surface deep. In fact, the muscles of my ankles themselves were burned. How did I know this? Because I experienced excruciating pain whenever I stopped moving. If I walked it out, the pain would eventually wear off until I stopped again, when my ankle muscles would lock up and send waves of deep, inner pain up my legs.

What should I do? Sitting down with my feet elevated would be the logical solution, but all though the idea seemed to have its merits at the time, I didn't come all the way to the Bahamas to sit in my hotel room! That would not only be very boring, but anti-social as well!

I prayed, and I felt the assurance that God would be my strength during this time of trial. After a good doze of vinegar and Aloe Vera, off we went to admire the beauty of this tropical delightful island.

God is sure a master painter! The world He has created is so gorgeous, even though it has fallen into the grip of sin. Whenever I wanted to stop and take a picture, however, sure enough, my ankle muscles would clamp up. I grinned through the pain, and praising God, I relied on the boost He gave me to enjoy my day. I couldn't stop dreaming about swimming in Aloe Vera, but my persistence paid off, and as a family, we were able to explore this part of the world that had been, before this, unknown to us. God was my strength during these days of trial!

That's when I realized that we should never ever give up, even when facing trials, even when enduring terrible pain. God has still some great beauty to show us and some terrific lessons to teach us. Even in pain we can truly continue to enjoy life. Although we might not enjoy it the way we used to, we will discover hidden beauty at a much deeper level, ever appreciating the fact that God will always be there for us.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isa 41:10 NIV)

"It's obvious, of course, that he didn't go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins, he would have already experienced it all himself - all the pain, all the testing - and would be able to help where help was needed." (Heb 2:16-18 The Message)

Where is that pool of Aloe Vera? I sure would like to take a dip in it!

"Anyone who drinks the water I (Jesus) give will never thirst - not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life." (John 4:14 The Message)

Rob Chaffart

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