The Painful Things God Uses are Priceless
If you ever check online to search for the world’s most expensive liquids, there are several which always make the list. For instance, human blood is very expensive – $1,500 per gallon. Sadly, Insulin, is also terribly expensive – $13,100 per gallon. And a gallon of the perfume Chanel No. 5 will cost you $23,300.
But then, you’ll find some substances whose high prices will bewilder the average person. For instance, a gallon of blood from one animal comes with a price tag of $53,250. Why? Because this creature’s blood makes it immune to all infections. Therefore, its applications in medicine are innumerable. And from which animal does this precious blood come? It is milked from the lowly, and oft-considered worthless horseshoe crab.
But we take a quantum leap forward when it comes to another naturally-produced liquid. But this one is deadly and almost always fatal. Yet its application in medicine for fighting Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression make it very pricy – $135,700 per gallon. What is it? King Cobra venom.
But this is “chump change” compared to a liquid that is widely considered the most expensive in the world. This liquid comes from the deathstalker scorpion, whose sting is considered 100 times more painful than that of a bee. Why is the deathstalker’s venom so expensive? Well, one reason is that it’s so hard to come by. You’d have to “milk” a scorpion 2.3 million times to get a gallon. And it takes two to three weeks for a deathstalker to replenish its venom for the next “milking.” One droplet of this venom, less than the size of a grain of sugar, will cost you $130. But a whole gallon of the stuff runs up to $39 million.
And why is there such a demand for such an expensive liquid? Its 36-amino acid peptide (chlorotoxin) has proved effective in treating multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and many others. In fact, this toxin is like a goose that lays golden eggs. The more scientists study it, the more uses they find for it.
It’s a fact. Many painful or useless creatures of the natural world possess curative powers that border on the miraculous. It only takes a skilled and knowledgeable person to unlock their secrets and apply their potent medicines.
And no one is as skilled and knowledgeable as our heavenly Father in taking what is otherwise painful, poisonous, and deadly and using it to accomplish the miraculous in our lives. Yes, your home and workplace may be dominated by some very poisonous and painful people. Maybe it’s God’s will for you to escape that toxic environment. But if escape is impossible, don’t feel yourself the helpless victim.
If you are a Christian believer, then you are not at the mercy of people or circumstances, but at the mercy of God. And God’s mercy is as vast as the ocean. And you are never beyond the grip of God’s grace and sovereignty. God is in control of your situation.
I know there are events in your life that are undeniably useless, painful, and tragic. The heartbreak and disappointment they inflict convinces us that they have no redeeming value. But that’s only in the natural. From our pain and tragedy God derives miraculous cures that will transform us from sons of hell to children of heaven. God uses life’s painful venoms and poisons to conform us into the image of His glorious Son.
You know, most activities of Christ’s church can be done better in heaven – worship, fellowship with believers, and fellowship with God. But there are two activities which can only be accomplished on earth and not in heaven. One of these is evangelism. The opportunity to reach the lost for Christ exists only in this life. Therefore, we must give the proclamation of the Gospel, the helping of the poor, and the righting of wrongs our full attention.
But there’s another activity which can only be accomplished in this life. It’s God’s work of sanctification in us through the unavoidable instruments of tribulation, adversity, disappointment, and pain. Once we reach heaven, there’ll be no pain, sorrow, sickness, dying, or curse (Revelation 21:4; 22:2-5). It’ll be too late to fire the Lord’s pottery in the furnace of affliction. The trees of the Lord’s planting can no longer be strengthened by the stiff, chilling winds of life’s fearsome storms.
For Christ’s servants who’ve joyfully submitted to the Lord’s discipline in this life, heaven will be a blessed and never-ending relief. They’ll praise God for every hill and valley of their earthly journey.
But for those believers who’ve remained spiritual babes because of their own stubbornness and rebellious ways, I suspect their experience of heaven will be different. I can’t help wondering if they’ll always be haunted by regret. I wonder if they’ll ask themselves, “How much greater would I be and how much taller would I stand if only I’d served the Lord more earnestly and faithfully? How much brighter would I shine if only I’d submitted more joyfully to the Lord’s discipline in my life on earth?”
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please open my eyes and understanding to see that this life is racing by, and my opportunities for evangelism, for helping the afflicted, and for spiritual growth are diminishing. Therefore, consecrate me to Your service, O God, and use me for Your glory and for the salvation and betterment of others. Make my heart teachable and help me to joyfully submit to Your chastening and discipline in my life. Please, dear Father, through whatever means are necessary, conform me into the pure image of Your glorious Son, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Information from: https://www.businessinsider.com/scorpion-venom-most-expensive-liquid-in-the-world-2018-8; https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/the-15-most-expensive-liquids-on-earth-some-of-which-we-even-use-389760/; https://beyondtype1.org/the-10-most-expensive-liquids-in-the-world/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorotoxin)