My close friend, Priscilla, usually tells me how interesting her one-year-old nephew is. I enjoy the stories sometimes but one wasn’t interesting. She said her nephew kept hitting a loose trap door with his palms, which kept the door opening and closing. Upon several warnings from his mum, he wasn’t ready to stop. He seemed to enjoy it! Unfortunately, what could stop him from this seemingly enjoyable adventure was pain. The door hit his head when his mum got distracted for a moment. Even though he is a kid, this pain could have been avoided had he heeded his mum’s warning. He suffered a needless pains!

I refer to this term, needless pain, as having to suffer or go through an unpleasant situation that could have been avoided. We usually endure needless pains for disobedience, stubbornness, arrogance, prayerlessness and pride. This list isn’t exhaustive. The Bible has several stories of how and why people went through needless pain. Let me talk about one of such.

The Bronze Serpent

In Numbers 21:4-6, the Israelites spoke against God and Moses when they got weary on their journey. They said many regretful and hurtful things that they shouldn’t have uttered. They knew speaking against God and His servants had consequences. As a disciplinary measure, God sent fiery serpents to attack them. Unfortunately, some lost their lives. Disobedience and distrust in God brought them suffering that could have been avoided if they had handled the situation differently. Since they couldn’t, they suffered needless pains!

Our Needless Pains

We bear needless pains in several ways such as sicknesses, loss of lives, poverty, bitterness, and grief, amongst others just because we fail to acknowledge the presence and relevance of God in our lives. We commit (do) or omit (don’t do) against His instructions that in turn cost us! Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10 that for the love of money, many have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

We sometimes suffer from making bad decisions, acting out or saying the wrong things that get us into trouble because we fail to be led by God – His Word and guidance. I know there are troubles we can get into because we obeyed God, those are not needless pains because He sanctioned them. But the ones we should have avoided are completely unnecessary – needless pains!

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!” If you commit your ways to God (Proverbs 16:3) and obey His instructions (from the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit), He will always save you from needless pains.

May the Lord mend our nets!

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