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GRACEVINE DEVOTIONAL
Thursday, November 9, 2017.

Isaiah 26:17 KJV
“Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs…”

I was lost in a reverie dream like state. Surrounded by white clouds and imaginary angel wings, I was in a state of floating bliss. I was so at peace that I never wanted to come out of it.
All of a sudden, my bliss was interrupted rudely by sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I was drawn back to reality as the pre - surgery anaesthesia shot they gave me wore out. I struggled to return back to the painless state I was enjoying before the interruption to no avail. It was like a merciless giant hand was ripping out my guts. The pain was persistent, relentless and most disconcerting. I finally woke up groaning in unbelievable pain to see the smiling faces of my Mom and Sister Ann at my bedside.

Reality hit hard. I’d just been sectioned by surgeons to extract a painful appendix. For as long as the anaesthesia was still in my blood stream, I was immune to pain and consequently floated around in the skies somewhere beyond earth. But the drug was leaving my system and pain was introduced. Disturbed by my deep groans of pain, my mom sent for the doctor who came in at once. With a rather annoying smile, he explained that the pain was necessary to bring me back to reality, else I could slip away into a permanent sleep called Death.

Sometimes we may not understand pain but it does have a way of bringing us back to earth’s reality. When we are in a pain free state, we are care free and may seem oblivious of the reality around us. Prayers, Bible study and seeking God become neglected. We coast along just fine UNTIL reality bites back hard. Sometimes it’s in the form of the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of large income, a divorce, personal accident, a betrayal etc.
The pain suddenly brings you back to the reality of earth, your vulnerability, the brevity of life and your undeniable need for God. Reality brings you back to dependence and intimacy with God. It doesn’t have to be that way but I guess we humans have the tendency to walk away from the cover of God in our unspoken desire for independence.

Pain sometimes matures you where scriptural persuasion had hitherto failed. It gets you grounded and changes your outlook in life.

*The struggling caterpillar in the cocoon will never become a butterfly without the pain of that bent position in the cocoon. Whenever you see a gaily colored winged butterfly flutter by you, you are actually privileged to witness the skill demonstration of a graduate from the Cocoon College of Pain.*

You can actually tell when a painful process is designed to mature you. Don’t fight it. Go with the flow and understand that certain break ups are deliberate for your build up. At the end of the storm will be a revelation of calm.

However, you do not have to go through pain to come to gain. By making right choices, you’ll avoid the chances of it happening.  Choose a consistent life of fellowship with God. In the place of intimacy, He warns, directs and prepares you for anything coming your way.

Grace be upon you today beloved.

Shalom.
Ken Okotcha

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