Antivenom. It’s also known as antivenin, venom antiserum, and antivenom immunoglobulin. The first venom antiserum was created in 1896 by Albert Calmette, a French scientist of the Pasteur Institute.
Pain & Healing
It was Calmette who first realized that a venom antiserum can be developed in much the same way as vaccinations against disease are produced. A very small amount of venom from a snake, spider, scorpion, tick, or frog is injected into an animal – usually a horse, sheep, or rabbit. This “bitten” animal will invariably develop antibodies to fight against that specific venom. The animal’s antibodies can then be harvested via its blood, to create vials of venom antiserum.
The down side of this procedure is that each venomous species has its own particular venom. Therefore, different antibodies must be developed against each one. Another down side is that venom antiserum is very expensive. In the US each dose will cost about $2,300.
But if it will save a life, it’s worth it. Every year, around the world, over 100,000 people die from the bites or stings of venomous animals. Yet, if the patient is administered the antivenin in time, there’s an almost 100 percent chance of recovery. The ever-growing number of venom antiserums are used to save tens of thousands of lives annually.
You know, the method of developing venom antiserum helps explain a lot of the pain in the lives of Christ’s servants. Look at Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. There Paul wrote that the afflictions God allows us to suffer result in us having a divine encounter and receiving priceless comfort from God. This divine comfort addresses that specific affliction or “painful venom.”
The pain of the affliction is intended to drive us into God’s arms.
And in God’s healing embrace we receive a divine message that soothes the wounds inflicted upon us.
God is our Healer
We might also put it this way. If some abusive person injects his or her venom into us, God’s comfort comes to us as an antivenin, to counter and ultimately eliminate their venom.
From personal experience, I would say that one “treatment” of God’s comfort is not enough. The pain creeps back into my system and I have to flee into God’s arms again and again. Years may go by, and I may convince myself that “I’m finally over this problem.” But if I let another snake of the same species bite me again, the old pain returns.
Again, I must run to be hugged and healed by God. Somewhere, along the way, I realize that I’m never going to outgrow God. I’ll always be His child and will always be dependent upon Him. Thankfully, He will always welcome me back into His arms – every time.
I’m sure Jesus had this in mind when he told His disciples, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (Luke 18:17) and “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). We enter God’s Kingdom in childlike dependence upon God. We also become great in His Kingdom through childlike humility and dependence upon God.
Eventually, we will learn to simply stay in God’s embrace. And every time people or circumstances bite or sting us again, it will become our first impulse to turn to the Healer of our souls.
But Paul went on to say that, God’s got another purpose for our pain and the comfort He gives us. Paul explains, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).
Remember how scientists harvest the antibodies from the “bitten” animals to create venom antiserums to save people’s lives. In a similar way God uses the “antibodies” against Satan’s venom. The comfort He made a part of us, can help save the lives of other bitten people. Yes, the comfort that came to you at such a painful price, will become the antitoxin that will save the wounded souls of others.
The stinging pain you bear today – from the fangs of some abusive person – will both drive you into the Lord’s arms to receive His divine healing and will eventually make you a soul-mender in the lives of many others. And the joy of being an instrument of God’s healing – not to mention the joy in heaven when we share Christ’s glory – will make the process worth every bit of the pain.
O dear heavenly Father, I am so weary of the pain I bear. Help me to fall into Your loving embrace and find heavenly comfort from Your word. Please use this pain to bring healing into the lives of others. Make me, dear Lord, an instrument of Your peace. Amen.
Information from: https://www.zmescience.com/other/feature-post/antivenom-made-precious/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antivenom)