A few days ago, I sliced my foot open pretty bad at the beach. I slipped on a rock and left a gash that was probably slightly over two inches long. I bled for about two hours, got light-headed, shaky, and uncontrollable giggles. As I understand, those are side effects of blood loss, so it makes sense. Anyhow, the whole experience didn’t really hurt, but it was severe enough that I needed to go to the emergency room to get stitches. That was fine, they gave me some kind of numbing agent so I wouldn’t feel them go in. Then I went home, watched a show and went to bed. Everything was great. Or so I thought.
I woke up in the middle of the night with an unbearable pain in my foot. It was the stitches. The numbing agent had finally worn off and I felt the full pain of the threads that were holding my flesh together. Receiving the gash was nothing, but these little stitches were awful. I pretty much didn’t walk the next day. And for a few days after that, if I needed to move far, I needed crutches. I still have a few more days before I can have the stitches removed and they’re still painful, but I’m walking unassisted with only a slight gimp. Stitches are awful, but necessary if I didn’t want to be walking around with duct tape on my foot. When it’s done healing, everything will great and certainly much better off than if I had chose to not go to the emergency room.
So, the cure is worse than the disease, or in my case, the bandage is worse than the wound. And as I think about it, that in a sense describes the Christian life. Through receiving saving faith in Jesus Christ, we open ourselves to ridicule, hate, persecution, violence, suffering, and even death. It can be quite a miserable life if you are a Christian. These are all possible side effects of salvation. Both mentally and physically, the cure (faith in Jesus Christ) is often worse than the disease (sin). And yet any doctor will tell you that you need to be cured because the consequences of the disease, as painless as living with it may be, are far worse that the pain the of being cured.