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ON CHRISTIANITY

By BILLY GRAHAM

This article was published August 22, 2013 at 3:43 a.m.

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I’ve been in constant pain the last two years because of some back surgery that didn’t work. Now I’m afraid I’ve gotten hooked on painkillers. I get prescriptions from several doctors who don’t know I’m getting them from the others. I know that’s wrong, but I can’t stand the pain. Why doesn’t God take it away?

  • M.W.

DEAR M.W.: You know what you want God to do: You want Him to take away your pain. But have you ever asked yourself what He wants you to do?

I’m not a doctor, of course, but I can tell you two things that God wants you to do. First, He wants you to stop getting drugs illegally (for that’s what you’re doing by concealing your true situation from these doctors). Not only are you jeopardizing your health and perhaps even risking arrest, but you may be endangering the professional status of your doctors. As I understand, most states have strict laws about such matters.

But God also wants you to get the best medical advice you possibly can for your problem (perhaps including a second opinion or advice from a specialized pain clinic). Concealing the seriousness of your problem from your doctor is not only unwise, but it could also greatly harm you.

The most important thing I can tell you, however, is that God loves you, and even if pain almost overwhelms you at times, God is still with you and wants to help you. By faith, invite Christ to come into your life, and then thank Him every day that nothing - not even your pain - “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). And someday you’ll go to be with Him in Heaven, where pain will be no more.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org

Weekend, Pages 32 on 08/22/2013

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