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Who doesn’t know about affliction? We all have to contend with it, in this fallen world. Overall our health is failing. We might be living longer, but in what state of mind? There are nursing homes filled with people who have Alzheimer’s. It is the quality of life that counts, doesn’t it?

If we are born-again Christians we will be tried, and refined.

What does that mean? Consequently, I went to the Bible to find out and boy! was I surprised!  My experience covers a lot of areas of why, so I felt a need to answer this question. Therefore, I go on. After I was “saved”, Diseases came marching in, and they still are. And this is to a girl who never had to see a GP, but once a year, and the test results were always spot on.

When I started with these afflictions, I had no clue where they were coming from, and asked The Lord, “why.” It took a lot of prayer and paying attention to what He was telling me through different venues before I got the big picture.

In Peter’s letters I found some of the answers:

(1Pe 1:6-7 MKJV) ” in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations; vs. 7 so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

(1Pe 2:20 MKJV) “For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God.”

I had no idea that when I became a Christian that my good health was about to transform forever.

All over the Bible you find God’s servants being afflicted. Now I know why, but it is better if I reveal it as I go on.

It started with my unbelieving husband, Tony ,  who asked, “why I was getting so sick after I had just became a Christian. Where was my God?”

“It all started after I became a Christian. First I starting seeing lightning out of my left eye. Consequently, I went to my eye Dr., who then sent me to the eye specialist. Then the comedy of errors. He he found a hole behind my left eye. Right there in his office with no one to help him, he grabbed a CO2 tank to freeze it shut.  The machine broke down half through and he snatched another one, which, guess what? Broke down, nice huh? Finally he took me into a well-lit laser room and zap! it was fixed, but not really. I seem to attract this kind of mania. 

The infuriating thing was when I went back for my follow-up, he looked at the computer and asked me where the ugly scar behind my left eye came from. I told him in a low voice, believe me I was not joking now, “You did it!” He just turned around back at the computer. Now I cannot see peripherally in my left eye, so no merging in my life.”

To make this story of tribulation creditable, I need to tell you my “Dentist Story:” Before I came to Florida I had to make one last trip to my dentist for a root canal. I get there and everything is going normal until… he said he couldn’t deaden my mouth, that I had a dead zone. meanwhile, my nerve perked it’s pretty little head wriggling up in the air for the first time and WOW, that was excruciating!  Subsequently, I realized he did not know what to do. Through my mask I said “tweezers” as loud as I could. He said “oh no”, and I started to shake my head yes, vigorously! What else could he do? And what was he thinking. So, he grabbed the tweezers and pulled that puppy out! Three seconds of birthing a baby at its worse.

Next, yes there is a next. I went to have my mamo done and guess what? A lump, and no less it was against the chest wall of all places. This is definitely not where you want a lump. however, I told each counselor as I went down the line that, “I did not care, I had found God.” I think they all thought I was a loon. At any rate, I went to the scheduled biopsy and they gave me a numbing needle. Then out comes a 12″ needle with a big scoop instead of pointy, and she proceeded to try to get all the way in, so that the fluid would come out. You guessed it, the numbing needle did not work and I felt everything. That why the “Dentist Story.” It seemed I could handle pain much better than most people. By the way, it was benign thank God. It gets wild as I go on, I seem to attract this kind of mania.

After that, (do not ask), I had been complaining that my hands were hurting, and after six months of complaining, my GP took x-rays. I was in my early 50″s. When I came back to the office, she had already perused the x-rays, and there was a funny look on her face, and then the questions came, “did anyone in my family have arthritis, and I told her both grandmothers did. so the next thing I know I am in the RA Dr.’s office, listening to the bad news. I had both osteo & rheumatoid arthritis. Are we having fun yet?

Now I was really upset. What was going on? I prayed, but didn’t listen to the answers at first because I was shocked! It was crucial that I understand this new way of living without hands, I mean afflictions. Sorry. 

Now the scriptures come.

(2 Corinthians 12:9) And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me. vs. 10:  Therefore I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am powerful.

I understood Paul’s words, but it Peter’s letters that nailed it for me.

(1 Peter 4:12-16) “Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you,  vs. 13: but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering, so that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.
vs. 14:  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you. Truly according to them, He is blasphemed, but according to you He is glorified. vs. 15: 
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a meddler in the affairs of others. vs. 16: But if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God because of this.”

(1Pe 1:6-7 MKJV)  “in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations; vs. 7:  so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

(1Pe 2:21 MKJV) ” For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,”

Sometimes it is as little as not cursing God because He is allowing this to go on. But count yourself worthy. Afflictions can come from all angles; health; depression; losing a close individual; temptations; etc., etc., etc.

 

(Luk 2:37 MKJV)  And she was a widow of eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving God with fasting and prayers night and day.

(Jas 1:2-4 MKJV)  “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations, vs.3: knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. vs. 4 :  But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

Now it was becoming clear, and I wasn’t feeling so hot, but I knew God chose me to be a warrior for Him.

I know it is grueling, but if we are not tried or refined, how would we know what kind of Christian we are?

 (Jas 5:11 MKJV)  Behold, we count blessed those who endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and you have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is full of pity and of tender mercy.

The Lord said, “the meek will inherit the earth,” He wasn’t talking about doormats. It is about discovering our God. Think about it. Something or some disease comes on you. You pray for strength, and you get it, in many different ways. You are now humbled, right with the meek. Look up and you see Jesus sending you the answers you seek by all different avenues. I will explain. It always comes back to the Book of Job.

(Zec 13:9 MKJV)  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, It is My people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God.

How do you explain these scriptures?

At this point, I was praying for Jesus to reveal Himself to me in the scriptures. What did they really imply? How was I glorifying God? Why was I being tried? At this time I had no clue as to what was coming, but thankfully the Lord showed me through my devotional. I was being tested. It was for God’s glory and the strength you get from turning it over to Him is amazing.

For  instance, you walk into the Church on Sunday after having no sleep because of extreme pain, you hide it, but everyone around you still sees the fact that our joy transcends the afflictions.

I went to my devotional as usual, and on March 4th Morning, God went on to tell me through Chas. Spurgeon that: “If none of God’s saints were poor and tested, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace…those who would glorify their God must expect to encounter many trials…as for His failing you, do not even dream it!-hate the very thought of it. The same God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end-if we see a bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction yet having faith in Christ, oh!”

Morning & Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon, the NIV Version

My eyes opened a bit more at that moment. How many people when losing a loved one blame God? Most, unfortunately. However, as I went along , I became amazingly joyful. You actually see God at work in your life and the lives around you. 

 (James 1:12) “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, because having been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

(Isaiah 48:9-10) “For My name’s sake I will put off My anger, and for My praise I will hold back for you, that I do not cut you off. vs. 10: Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”

On  the  morning of March 3rd, in my devotional from Spurgeon, it claimed Isaiah 48:10. God usually answers in my devotional to get through to me. 

“Comfort yourself, ” He says   ,  “Trusted believer, with this thought: God says, I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. let affliction come – God has tested me. Sickness you may intrude, but I have a balsam ready – God has tested me.  Poverty, you may stride in at my door. but God is in the house already, and he has tested me. If believer, you require still greater comfort, remember that you have Jesus with you in the fiery furnace.  Christian don’t be afraid; Jesus is with you in all your fiery trials.”- 

Morning & Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon, the NIV Version

What I noted was that the word “fiery” was in most of these scriptures. Then it became so clear, I was the happiest pain-ridden person I knew.  I was down looking up at my God! I was then and am now very humbled. He is preparing me for something, but it is like JOB. He does not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear.  When you are in distress, God is there and you recognize it, because the Holy Spirit in you gets stronger, and you get closer to God. I know it sounds crazy, but it is all supernatural, believe it.

After the mammogram, the joy is the same joy He gives you when you were a babe in Christ.  Okay, I will step down from the pulpit.

We go on. My hands starting hurting, and it took a while for my GP to take x-rays and to her surprise and mine, I had osteoarthritis. Consequently, I was off to see the Arthritis Dr., who then found the RA. Isn’t this getting better and better?  However, I was able to go on disability, Praise God. 

Let me clarify something. It was if satan was hurting me physically and Jehovah was letting him only go so far, before He put on the brakes. Sometimes, it is my own stupidity for getting hurt.  However, after reading the scriptures and Spurgeon, who quoted them, it appears that we are being strengthened for our benefit. I found out too that you really see Jesus at work in your life if you pay attention. That brings “faith” into a whole new light.

But I digress.  One morning, I went to get out of bed and my legs and feet felt as if I had been running uphill all night. You guessed it, back to the RA Dr. She diagnosed me with an on and off bursitis. I earned two cortisone shots that day. I was very familiar with cortisone shots. I already had enough in my hands.  Nevertheless, I go on.

My hands were bright red and would not stop hurting. I would lie in bed and I would try to meditate on God palms up, and no go. So back to the Doctor I went. She referred me to a hand surgeon. The hand surgeon referred me to a neurologist to see if it was carpal tunnel. I told her I knew it wasn’t, but she held her ground. The hand surgeon took more extensive x-rays of my hands.

So I immediately go to this guy to get it out-of-the-way so we could find out in reality, what  was going on. I go to his office and he used electricity to shock my fingers and hand, boy did I react! He did it three times, then he took out a 6″ needle and started poking my arms. I said ,”Aren’t you satisfied that I don’t have carpal tunnel yet!” He continued to hurt me until I said,” Stop it!”

Consequently, back to the hand surgeon I went. She said , “I can’t help you any further.” I started to cry and she said she was going to refer me back to my RA Doctor. A year went by, I barely could use my hands, subsequently I had no strength left in my arms. It had been a year and maybe there was something new, my RA Doctor ran across. I go in the office and she tells me that this is something I will have to put up with and I started to tell her what I thought, and guess what?  She started to send me downstairs for x-rays. I said , “didn’t you see the x-rays Dr. Ann Licht took?

She never received the x-rays from Dr. Licht! She looked at them and slowly turned around, in an animated voice said, You have no cartilage in your hands where the thumb meets the wrist!”

This woman never, ever got emotional. She told me I had to see the other hand surgeon asap. What was explained to me was that it was bone on bone and that causes the bones to get larger, it becomes rock-like. Dr. Meo, (I loved her) gave me the low down on my surgery. She goes into the back of my wrist and pulls out all the nerves and what she called “Stuff,” and then takes a saw and hones down the bones. She then sews that up and goes into my forearm and steals a tendon and the goes into where my wrist meets my hand and puts the tendon between the bones. Get it? It some kind of Carpectomy. Meanwhile she had to give me what turned out to be the most painful cortisone shot in my left hand so I could use it.

As I was being wheeled into the OR, Dr. Meo said, “Debella,  this is going to be the most painful operation you will ever have.” Now she tells me? We both laughed.  It took 2 1/2 hours. I love this Dr., she had a great bedside manner. Next came the soft cast, I couldn’t get wet and I couldn’t use the arm protector I got later. I had to use a plastic bag. So guess again, I washed my hair and took a bath in my pool. Nice, huh?

For six months they had me on oxocodone and percocets.

Following this ordeal, i started having pain in my arms and upper body like I was being pummeled and I felt bruised afterward. Back to the RA Dr. I went and she said I had fibromyalgia. Isn’t this fun??? I was laughing it was so ridiculous. At this point, there was no doubt that Satan wanted me bad, but The Lord was with me and I still felt that real joy. 

I have faith that this was because I left satan’s organization, in which I stayed 15 long years as a JW and now I am helping others get out of that cult! Satan had not only lost me, I was working against him. 

(Acts 9:3-4) But in going, it happened as he drew near to Damascus, even suddenly a light from the heaven shone around him. vs. 4: And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?

Saul was so zealous for the wrong side and hunted down Christians to kill them. Who would have thought that Jesus would stop Saul of all people and start his conversion and teaching by the Master himself for three years. He became Paul, “Apostle to the Gentiles.”

The Apostle Paul had infirmities his eyesight and the thorn in his side), but when he prayed to have them removed. Th apparent answer was “no.”

Now I sit here at 63 years old,  with various medical problems, content That I can write with the Holy Spirit guiding me.

Now to answer Tony’s question posed at the beginning of this blog. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to answer him, because if it was up to me, I would answer with, “because I am being tested by fire, refined in the Word.” Oh, that would have gone over well, don’t you think? I did not want to scare him, I want the Holy Spirit to knock some sense into him. Sorry…

However, what I did say was, “sometimes God does not intervene with my illnesses, but look; my breast lump was benign and there was no skin cancer. I am just being hit with non-life threatening diseases. Nevertheless, I am glad you noticed that there is a “God thing” at work here. “

My afflictions march on. A couple of years ago Tony took me out for a nice steak dinner. After the first bite, the steak became lodged above my stomach and off to the hospital I went. I was choking when I entered the ER at 8pm, and it was not until after midnight the doctor came and put me under for  some sort of fishing expedition, because the steak did not come out quietly. He suggested I have a colonoscopy and endoscopy done, which I did right away. 

The results were, get this, my stomach was “raw”, bright red, so to speak and if I continued to take any nsaids, like advil, it would cause a whole in my stomach. They also said that I had gastritis , the disease. Most people do not know what this signifies. I cannot eat anything with acid or tomatoes spicy foods, or have caffeine, kill me now! And I had diverticulitis, to boot. 

I went from 130 lbs to 107 lbs in two months. I look like a raisin! My regular weight was 120-125 and now, today I weigh 110 lbs.

My RA doctor had to give me something for the RA pain, so I starting injecting myself with methotrexate. It has chemo in it, and you have to be lab tested every 6 weeks. My hair fell out. I had numerous bold spots, and I just did not feel myself. We lowered the dose, but it wasn’t worth the side effects, so I slowly went off it. One day, recently, I woke up to an ankle double the size of normal, so I went to the foot Dr. and he took x-rays and said it was my osteoarthritis. So back to the RA Dr. I went and she offered me more meds and I nicely, but firmly said no.

Don’t you think God knows this. He gives me the strength to edify others , which takes my mind off the pain. You see, I have horrible pain every day and refuse to show it, so much so, that my husband thinks I am cured. Just tonight he told me to get a job! He forgets how my hands don’t work, even though he sees me struggle with a button and zipper puller. It’s like he’s mindless when it comes to my fibromylgia. 

There is one thing I want to mention, and it is this:” my left hand, which also had no cartilage and was bone on bone never hurt me again and I give the Glory to God. It has been since 7/25/2013. I praise Him, because “I was healed by his stripes.”

I am 63, and expect more issues since I am getting older, however, I have never had such joy in my entire life. 

Please stay close to God and lay down your burdens, one by one, and suddenly your God is bigger than these burdens.

NOW I AM 65 1/2 AND HAVE HAD HORRENDOUS OPERATIONS AND PAIN:

IN 2017 WHEN ERMA CAME THRU, I KNOCKED A 4 TOOTH BRIDGE OUT ON MY UPPER SIDE (RIGHT) IF THAT WASN’T PAINFUL ENOUGH, IT LEFT TWO TEETH STANDING, ONE EVEN HAD A POST STICKING OUT.WHEN I CHOKED ON A PIECE OF STEAK ON MY BIRTHDAY, TONY RUSHED ME TO THE HOSPITAL AND I WAITED 8 HRS UNTIL THEY COULD DO THE ENDOSCOPY. BOY, WAS I IN FOR A TREAT. CONSEQUENTLY ALL  OF THEIS HAPPENED AROUND THE SAME TIME, MAYBE WITHIN 6 WEEKS. THE TEETH WERE PULLED OUT AND NOT ONE TOOTH STOOD WHERE 6 HAD BEEN. 

{“THEN DURING THE HEALING OF MY MOUTH MY POCKETBOOK TOOK A HIT, WHEN I FOUND OUT I HAD TO HAVE IMPLANTS PUT IN. THIS WAS A DIFFERENT KIND OF PAIN AND OF COURSE MY HEAT PUMP WENT -6K ON TOP OF THE 10K +.}

PLEASE BEAR WITH ME, BECAUSE THIS GETS CONFUSING. THIS BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAPPENED ALL AT THE SAME TIME. A FEW MONTHS LATER MY VERTABRAE (IN MY NECK), COLLAPSED ON TOP OF THE NEXT ONE AND TOOK A LARGE NERVE WITH IT. NO ONE COULD HELP ME FOR 8 MONTHS. TALK ABOUT PAIN. THEY COULDN’T HELP ME GET A NEUROLOGIST UNTIL THANKFULLY, I HAD MY OPERATION IN MY NECK IN DEC, AND THE VERTABRAE COLLAPSED IN APRIL-MAY. MEANWHILE, I HAD AN OPERATION IN MY MOUTH ON THE UPPER RIGHT SIDE BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH BONE TO ACCOMADATE MY IMPLANTS. THE DR. HAD TO CUT ME ALL THE WAY DOWN AND OPEN MY GUMS SO HE COULD PUT CADAVER BONES IN AND ALL I HAD WAS A LOCAL. SO I LAID OFF THE DENTIST WHILE I HAD MY NECK OPERATION, TALK ABOUT OPOIDS. AFTER MY NECK OPERATION, ALL OF THE MUSCLES IN MY NECK HAD “CHARLIE HORSES” GOING ON.

LETS NOT FORGET WHY I CHOKED ON THE STEAK. I HAD A SEARCH & RESCUE ENDOSCOPY AND TO MY SURPRISE & THE DRS, I HAD THE DISEASE “GASTRITIS” MY STOMACH WAS SO RED AND THE LINING WAS SO THIN, I HAD TO STOP ALL EATING. EXCEPT OF COURSE ICECREAM, SOME VEGGIES, NO ANSAIDS, PIES MAINLY JUNK FOOD. COULDN’T EAT ANYTHING WITH TOMATOES (CATSUP) AND CITRUS FOODS, CAFFEINE (WHICH IS THE ONLY THING I CHEATED WITH. THE DRS SAID I WOULD BLOW A HOLE IN MY STOMACH, NICE HUH? 

IN THE MEANTIME I WAS GIVING MYSELF SHOTS OF METHOTRAXATE FOR MY RHUEMTOID ARTHRITIS. WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT IT HAD CHEMO IN IT, SO FOR 6 MONTHS, I WATCHED MY HAIR COME OUT IN CLUMPS. I WENT OFF THAT IMMEDIATELY AND THE HAIR SLOWLY GREW BACK FROM THE ROOTS. IT NEVER CAME BACK TO ITS OLD SELF.

FIRST IT WENT LIKE ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER, THEN BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, AND ITS NOT OVER YET. THEY SAW WRINKLES BEHIND MY EYES AND THERE IS SOMETHING READY TO JUMP OUT THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. MY TEETH HAVE TO HAVE CAPS ON THEM AND THEN THE DENTIST GOES IN AND CUTS THE TISSUE AROUND THE IMPLANTS SO THE OTHER DENTIST CAN FINISH MY IMPLANTS. 

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into different kinds of temptations,  (Jas 1:2 MKJV)

Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you,  (1Pe 4:12 MKJV)
but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering, so that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.  (1Pe 4:13 MKJV)
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you. Truly according to them, He is blasphemed, but according to you He is glorified.  (1Pe 4:14 MKJV)
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a meddler in the affairs of others.  (1Pe 4:15 MKJV)
But if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God because of this.  (1Pe 4:16 MKJV)

Ii believe that no one who is a child of God goes thru these things unless it is in God’s big picture. So I keep going & going because I want to be a testimony for my Lord who suffered way worse and be found in Him and die with Him. God is i control of every breath, etc. therefore, He knows about my illnesses and He is allowing it to go on. By the way, I am still working on “humbleness.” I do not know anyone who is humble enough to please God. I am sure they are out there. God bless.

 

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