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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

S.A.N.S. Episode 145: Heart’s Cry

Today’s featured song comes from the Hooters of Christian music. The Stand contains that classic rock and roll sound of the 1980’s. While keyboard has replaced the piano in most modern bands, you can hear the difference on a couple of the songs from the Heartbreak Town album. According to one of the websites I found, the Stand was influenced by the Raspberries.

The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent, Psalm 34:18.

Everyone has experienced some sort of heart break in life. This pain may inspire you to reflect upon poor choices that you have made in life. In the passage above, God promises to be close to those who have been crushed by a broken heart. As you listen to Heart’s Cry or the entire Heartbreak Town album, may the lyrics encourage and uplift your spirit to press on despite how you feel.

by Jay Mankus

The One that Got Away

One of the certainties in life is that you will experience disappointment at some point in time.  Despite having an ideal or perfect day, there will be outcomes that surprise you.  These twists and turns having lasting effects, especially when you are so close to victory.  Thus, everyone has a story, as painful as it may be about the one that got away.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, 1 Peter 1:6.

As a student in high school, I was one dimensional.  Although I eventually improved my grade point average, my sole concern was with sports.  I guess you can say I lived and died with each victory and loss.  While I was blessed to be apart of many great teams, I never won a state championship, finishing second in cross country, third in a swimming relay and fourth in golf.  If only I was healthy, stronger or I could putt, the ending may have been different.  Since there is no time travel device or vehicle to go back, all I can do is think about what might have been.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed, 1 Peter 1:7.

Each of these failures digs up a certain degree of anguish.  As a junior I watched my cross country team lose by 7 points as I sat on the sidelines after reconstructive ankle surgery.  This was excruciating, but losing the state golf championship as a senior probably stings more, letting a first round lead slip away, clawing back to within one on the back nine, only to fade down the stretch.  Exactly why God allows individuals to endure heartbreak is hard to say.  Yet, in every defeat, there is a life lesson, something to learn from so you can overcome the one that got away.

by Jay Mankus

 

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