I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.
– John 16:12
Note: I only quoted one verse in this post, on purpose. Our friend, Dave Peever from Live 4 Him, wrote in his blog post yesterday about taking a verse out of context. Normally, I would provide the paragraph, but then you’d see how the one verse has been misused.
I have had three bouts with kidney stones. The first passed while in the ER about seven years ago. The second passed after 5 or 6 days of agony, but the agony was just starting as the pain and sickness side effects lasted two weeks after the stone passed. This was four years ago.
Then there was (and is) May 2018. I got the initial abominable abdominal pain on May Day. I was thinking, “May Day! May Day!” It was confusing, for it was a different pain. I figured that if the pain wasn’t bad, I would ride it out without going to the doctor. But I never got the characteristic pressure of a stone blocking the urinary tract. Maybe this was a urinary tract infection. The next morning, I felt the first stone pass. A day later, I saw the nurse practitioner. She was very thorough, but she did not schedule the CT scan until after the lab results came in – an extra day of pain. To her defense, the stone passed naturally – the time frame for the pain was fixed. I just got the medicine a day later. The scan showed that I had two more stones: One near my bladder that wasn’t blocking anything – just irritating everything, and the other on the opposite kidney, also not blocking anything, but it had not started moving either.
I wrote a couple of posts in a lot of pain through those days (hoping that the posts made sense), but I did not miss any days of writing. If people have been disappointed that I have fallen behind on my reading of their blogs, or commenting, I offer this as an excuse.
But really, I was praising God because these stones were not large enough to block the duct and cause that terrible pressure and swelling.
Then came yesterday. The remaining stone started to move. Having passed at least four stones in my life, I thought I had known pain. This latest one, still not passed, introduced me to a new level of pain.
I was reminded of the old saying that God does not give you more than you can bear. But just as Jesus made that statement to His disciples in John 16:12, He added the word – now. He was talking about understanding the truth. The verses, following the one above, describe the Holy Spirit’s work within the disciples soon – on Pentecost, and us now. This one bit of Scripture has nothing to do with pain, suffering, paying taxes, etc.
Note: I told God that I was NOT going to remind Him of His promise of not giving me more than I could bear, because He might just show me how much more I could bear. Of course, in saying that, it broached the subject, out of context or not.
We are weak, me especially. My wife continuously fusses that I am a wimp. I groan. I moan. Then again, enduring pain is her super power.
Jesus is saying in John 16 that we must take our lessons from the Scriptures in little bites, blending our experience with the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we study. As the Holy Spirit shows us something that we need to deal with, He doesn’t overload us. He just gives us one tiny area that needs improvement. We realize that we are far from perfect, but to face it all, in one swell foop (fell swoop – I love spoonerisms), that just may be more than we can bear.
Also, we take our doses of enduring pain in little bites. The two exceptions may be kidney stones and giving birth. The ER doctor (female and mother) on the first stone said that the pains of kidney stones and giving birth were quite similar (not saying the same here), but all you end up with after passing a stone is a tiny bit of rock, instead of a bundle of joy. My wife reminded me that I was turning our household into a large family this month.
If I miss a day’s post soon, I again offer this as an excuse.
God will see me through. All praise goes to Him.
And now, in preparation for Pentecost this Sunday, the entire paragraph of what Jesus told His disciples, just a part of what the Apostle John records of Jesus’ message at the Last Supper:
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
– John 16:12-15