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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

October 17, 2011 - Hurting to Heal

By Scott Harrup

For two days following my tetanus shot, my left shoulder felt like some judoka wrenched it out of socket. The pain, if laid on a scale of comparative therapeutic injections, would fall generously higher than a flu shot, but slightly lower than a cholera immunization. I’ve washed down a little more ibuprofen than the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and am beginning to feel confident enough to raise my arm above my head without wincing.

The tetanus shot hurt far less, though for several days longer, than the fork in the hand that sent me to my doctor’s office. The fork was clean, but the company nurse here at the Assemblies of God national offices strongly recommended I update my tetanus protection.

The fork didn’t completely impale my hand. Just two of the tines caught the edge of my palm between my thumb and forefinger. When I pulled my hand away and looked at the wound, the mishap clearly had not severed anything so vital as a tendon or a major blood vessel.

Accidents happen. Lindsay asked me to make her a milkshake on Tuesday night. I found a quart carton with just a few dregs of freezer-burned vanilla frozen yogurt. Holding the bottom of the carton with my right hand, I pushed rather hard with my left on the fork I was using to break up the block — which sheered in half unexpectedly and opened a direct path for the fork through the bottom of the carton into my hand.

Note to self: Always set a cardboard carton on a stable surface before pushing sharp implements into it.

I find some irony in the simultaneous administration of pain and healing. It crops up constantly on a spiritual and emotional level. Think how much it can hurt to admit you are wrong and seek forgiveness — whether God’s or someone else’s. And yet, when that forgiveness comes, the sense of healing is a balm to the soul.

Mark Kelly’s article “Graft vs. Host” in the Oct. 9 Pentecostal Evangel describes his own difficult journey through cancer, the years of pain he endured, and lessons he took away from the ordeal. He writes:

“No analogy is perfect, but my experience from the past 16 years points me to another battle of a spiritual nature. When any of us comes to Christ, we pray and ask Him to come into our lives, save us, and take over our life circumstances as Lord. And yet we experience powerful seasons of internal strife. We have at once a new heart with a desire to follow Christ and our old fallen nature battling for survival. Like the struggle between my new, life-giving bone marrow and my sick and dying body, the conflict can go on for years. We experience great gains, and then we fall; we enjoy success, and then we are disillusioned when our body tries to ‘reject’ our new nature over and over again.”

Perhaps no Scripture captures more effectively God’s ability to use pain to bring healing than Isaiah 53:5: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (NIV).

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (



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