There are people all around us that believe that if we do not have problems then life would be simpler, easier, and better. They truly think that if all problems were solved; they believe if they didn't feel any pain; if they didn't have any heartache, then they could live a more satisfied life.
I want to take a moment and share with you a story about someone who could not feel pain. Missionary Surgeon Dr. Paul Brand tells of working for several years to bring physical rehabilitation to a 'leper' named Sadan. The 2 men became dear friends, and Dr. Brand worked for several years to repair Sadan's wasted hands and fingers. At last, Sadan felt he would return home to his family for a trial weekend to see if he, as a leper, would be accepted by his family and friends.
Dr. Brand tried to prepare Sadan for the trip, reviewing especially all the dangers he might encounter since his body's extremities had no feelings and could sense no pain. Having learned how to care for himself, Sadan boarded a train for home (Madras).
On Saturday night after an exuberant reunion dinner with his family, Sadan went to his old room, laid down on the pallet, and drifted off into a contented sleep. Imagine his horror upon awakening when, while checking himself as he had been trained to do, Sadan found a part of his left index finger mangled. A rat had visited him during the night and gnawed his finger.
The next evening, he was afraid to go to sleep, so all evening he had cross-legged on his pallet; his back against the wall, studying an accounting book by the light of kerosene lantern. In the wee hours of the morning his eyes became so heavy he could no longer keep them open. The book fell onto his knees and his hand slid over against the hot glass of his lantern.
When Sadan awoke the next morning he saw instantly that a large patch of black skin had burned off the back of his right hand, and he soon returned to Dr. Brand, his two hands wrapped in bandages.
Dr. Paul Brand said; "When he met me, and I began to unroll the bandages, he wept." Dr. Brand recalled; "I must confess that I wept with him. As he poured out his misery to me, he said; 'I feel as if I've lost all my freedom." Dr. Brand then said that this leper asked him a question that stayed in his heart for years. "How can I be free without pain?" Dr. Brand said that the only thing he could think about was; "The body poorly protects what it does not feel."
I want you to imagine for a moment that for the rest of your life you won't have to feel any more pain. Suppose that you knew that you would never have to go through another difficulty or problem in your life. I am afraid that if we lived in a pain and a problem free society, we would almost live in chaos.
What I would like to do is introduce you to an old friend. You've known him for a long time, I suspect; but you probably didn't know that he was a friend. ...
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