The dreaded Deathstalker Scorpion of the Middle East is one of the most deadly species of scorpions.
Its venom is unique in that it includes a number of different neurotoxins, including several types of Agitoxins, Scyllatoxin, Charybdotoxin, and Chlorotoxin. This makes its venom particularly dangerous—fatal to all but the most robust of humans. Unfortunately, the Deathstalker’s sting is also terribly painful. Naturally, this scorpion is both hated and feared by the people of this region—especially by those who raise livestock, such as shepherds and Bedouins.
Yet a few years ago the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of this scorpion’s deadly venom for use in the treatment of cancer—presently only in clinical trials, but the results are very promising.
How can something as loathsome as scorpion venom help in the fight against cancer? It has to do with the Chlorotoxin which bonds with a fluorescent molecule, thus creating a luminescent “tumor paint.” When this tumor paint is injected into the body of a patient, it attaches itself to the most difficult to locate malignant tumors—brain tumors. Since both the brain tissue and the tumors are the same drab color—gray—distinguishing the two is extremely difficult. This “tumor paint”—when exposed to infrared light – clearly illuminates the tumor. Thus the scorpion venom extract is many times more effective in helping brain surgeons locate tumors than MRIs or CT scans. This greatly minimizes the dangers of removing too little of the tumor or too much of the surrounding brain tissue.
Not only is this development another example of how good can be found is all aspects of God’s creation. It also serves as another analogy of how pain can be turned into gain. All of us have been inflicted with emotional wounds and the stinging venom of cruel and vicious words. The pain this poison brings can be virtually disabling to us. Many people never process the pain and navigate their way through it. Instead of finding relief, they only learn to spew their poison at others—thus perpetuating the cycle of pain.
For sweet to arise from the bitter, we must bring our pain to God
But many others find relief in the loving arms of God’s embrace. Their pain actually drives them into God’s arms again and again. And there, in the bosom of their Heavenly Father, they find healing for their wounded hearts, peace of mind, and love for their thirsty souls. God transforms that poison into a miracle cure which makes them more holy and fit for heaven.
In the Bible Moses told Israel that God turns the curses spoken against them into blessings (Deut. 23:5). The Apostle Paul stated that God causes all things to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). James wrote that we should count it all joy when we encounter various trials, because the trial of our faith produces endurance and perseverance in us (James 1:2). But for sweet to arise from the bitter, we must bring our pain to God. Let God Himself apply the heavenly antidote to the venom in our hearts.
Dear Father in heaven, for so long I’ve carried this pain in my heart. It’s made life miserable to me and made me hard to live with. Please accept me into Your loving embrace.
Please forgive me and heal me, I pray. Make the bitter sweet and fill my heart with Your love. Amen.