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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

Allowing Relationships to go Their Own Separate Ways

Separate Ways debuted in 1983, two years after Music Television was launched on August 1st, 1981.  This Journey song was recorded on the Frontier’s album, peaking at #8 on the Billboard’s Top 100 chart.  While Separate Ways did reach #1 for four weeks on the Top Tracks Chart, there is more to this song Behind the Music.  The lyrics of Separate Ways was inspired by the painful break ups and divorces Journey band members experienced.

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers and sisters (believers) in every city where we preached the message of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take [his cousin] John, who was called Mark, along with them, Acts 15:36-37.

I experienced divorce for the first time when my neighbor’s mom got divorced twice in a three year period.  Spending every other week or once a month with your father must be confusing and difficult for any teenager.  Meanwhile, when the stability of a family collapses, fear of broken and severed relationships leave soul spirit hurts behind.  When I researched Separate Ways, Worlds Apart is italicized like a sub-title that becomes a reality when relationships go their own separate ways.

But Paul kept insisting that they should not take along with them the one who had quit and deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work. 39 And it became such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took [John] Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, Acts 15:38-39.

The Bible refers to a different type of separate ways in the passage above.  Luke highlights a disagreement between Barnabas and Paul over missionary partners.  Barnabas allowed family ties to blind him from his cousin’s desertion during their first missionary journey.  While Paul does forgive John Mark in future epistles, he was unwilling to take the risk of relying on someone who recently abandoned the mission field.  Subsequently, Paul and Barnabas go their own separate ways, serving the Lord in their own unique manner.  While I am sure there were hurt feelings by both parties, sometimes it’s better to go your own separate ways.

by Jay Mankus

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