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A Nagging Sting that Doesn’t Go Away

My first bee sting came as a child in a blue berry patch. Fortunately, my mom was an EMT at the time. As a teenager, I ran over a hornet’s nest while cutting grass resulting in multiple stings. Despite being young, the pain from these stingers lingered for a month. In the last days on earth, a creature will arise that will be leave stung victims with a nagging pain for five months.

The locusts resembled horses equipped for battle. On their heads was something like golden crowns. Their faces resembled the faces of people. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their breastplates (scales) resembled breastplates made of iron, and the [whirring] noise made by their wings was like the roar of a vast number of horse-drawn chariots going at full speed into battle, Revelation 9:7-9.

You don’t have to have an encounter with a bee to get stung in life. Maybe you lost an important friendship, endured a heart-breaking divorce or were betrayed by someone you trusted. Whenever a relationship ends badly or has been permanently damaged, this can be like a nagging sting that doesn’t go away. With just the sight of this individual, phone call or text, this pain you tried to hide remerges.

They have tails like scorpions, and they have stings, and in their tails lies their ability to hurt men for [the] five months, Revelation 9:10.

The disciple whom Jesus loved has a vision of what life will be like in the last days on earth. Following a series of tribulations, locusts with a stinger most powerful than a scorpion will inflict devastation over the earth for five months. While no one will be killed by these locusts, the pain will be too much to bear. As you endure present trials on earth, remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 so that you will find rest for troubled and weary souls.

by Jay Mankus

Faster Faster Won’t You Make It Better Now

Built into the DNA of children is a natural inclination to seek comfort from mothers.  Whether its an accident, fall or scrape, there is something soothing about receiving a hug, kiss or touch from mom.  When I lived in New Jersey, my mother was an EMT.  Perhaps, it was a premonition that I was an accident waiting to happen.  Anyway, when I broke my leg in two places jumping off an above ground pool, did a face plant into the asphalt while riding my bike and nearly lost my finger after it was slammed into a car door I cried out, “faster faster won’t you make it better now?”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

From a spiritual perspective, adults and child alike apply this same concept to prayer.  However, instead of crying out to moms’, individuals are seeking immediate help from their heavenly Father.  In cases of death, illness or sudden trauma, God is the last resort, a life line hoping to turn around a dire situation.  While answers from the Lord vary, desperate times push souls to a sense of urgency.  Depending upon the age, dilemma or energy within each prayer lifted up, everyone is searching for a quick resolution with a happy ending.

And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him,” Joshua 24:24.

In the song Faster Faster on Esterlyn Lamps debut album, the lyrics appear to be geared toward a counselor or friend.  In the chorus, an individual who has made poor choices in life cries out at the tops of their lungs, “faster faster won’t you make it better?”  Whether this plea applies to a pastor, teacher or youth pastor, anyone who makes foolish decisions wants to escape the consequences.  Unfortunately, reality paints another picture, often with grime results.  Therefore, don’t wait until something bad happens to get right with God.  Rather, like Joshua in the Old Testament, make your decision today to serve and follow the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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