Despite the use of an impact drill, a metal drill bit, and cutting oil, we still found ourselves having to apply a tremendous amount of force in order to bite into the steel. It was exhausting work; and we had to take turns at the drill. It just so happened that it was during one of my turns at drilling that the bit actually broke through the girder. Whereupon, with me pushing hard on the handle, the bit lunged forward about three to four inches before the drill chuck slammed up against the steel.
Sadly, as the drill lunged forward, the outside of my right forearm slammed into the rack of the adjacent garage door. At the time, the pain was enough that it smarted pretty badly. But I appeared none the worse for the experience, and quickly brushed it all off.
Imagine my surprise then, when about ten minutes later, I glanced down at my forearm and saw that a large pump knot had developed. It looked as if someone had cut a lemon in half lengthways and then inserted half of it under my skin.
The strange thing is that, while there was some residual pain from the original impact, it was not as if I had a broken arm. There simply wasn’t enough pain involved to warrant such a conclusion. And yet, the knot persisted. Indeed, if anything, it even kept growing slightly bigger. Anxiety and fear of the unknown quickly compounded any physical pain I was enduring.
Thirty minutes later, the fire extinguisher had been installed, the tools had been put away, and I and my wounded appendage were ensconced safely in the house. A quick google search told me that I needed to begin an immediate regimen of on again, off again icing of my pump knot. After a quick shower, I got down to the business at hand.
The thirty minute cycle was repeated three times before I went to bed; and when I awoke the following morning, the swelling was markedly reduced. What is more, there was very little pain. In fact, I thought I was home free until my wife commented on the tremendous bruise on my right forearm. I went to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and examined my arm more closely, only to confirm what she observed.
I have now carried that bruise for three days. Ugly as it was at first, fortunately, with each passing day, it has become less and less noticeable, even as the swelling and pain have all but disappeared. My suspicion is that within another week, the whole episode will be over and forgotten. I will be thinking less and less of it.
This entire ordeal strikes me as illustrative of life. Think about it… Most anything worth undertaking usually involves some cost. That is to say that somewhere along the way, a price has to be paid. And when that price is being paid, it can often be painful. But in the end, when whatever was deemed worthy or valuable enough to pay such a price has been accomplished or achieved, the degree of pain associated with its acquisition then seems to fade.
Witness the physician who slogs his or her way through years of courses, degrees, and internships to acquire the title of M.D. Or the MLB player who endures spring training, a long and grueling regular season, the playoffs, and then a seven game stretch before taking home a World Series ring.
The same can be said of an Olympic athlete and a gold medal, a prize-fighter and championship belt, a burgeoning author and a bestseller, an inspired inventor and a better mousetrap, or any number of a thousand other entities who realized their dreams only through persistence and determination.
In all these examples, an extreme price was paid before the ultimate victory was obtained. And while the price was no doubt painful at the time it was being paid, in the aftermath, it was all but forgotten.
Above all, witness the experience of our Lord and Savior, about Whom the Bible says… “Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
The word translated as “disregarding” here is the Greek word “kataphroneó”, which means “to think little of”. This tells me that, despite the unimaginable pain and agony associated with being crucified, Jesus chose to think little of all of it in light of the joy that awaited Him once He had completed His mission, redeemed mankind, and was given a place of honor at the right hand of God in Heaven!
The fire extinguisher is now hung. The pain is all but gone. And in all likelihood, I will continue to remember the pain involved in making this happen less and less. But I will always have the satisfaction, every time I glance at that same fire extinguisher, of knowing that whatever it cost me in terms of pain and discomfort, the price I paid was well worth it!
No doubt our Lord feels much the same way about what happened at Calvary!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/hebrews/12-2.htm.
WORD STUDY: https://biblehub.com/greek/2706.htm.