Author's Note: This article was originally written in 2013.
There was a time when I felt I could no longer endure the painful trial going on in my life for so long. In frustration, I cried out to God. "What are You doing to me?" He said, "I'm making a man of God out of you!" He continued, "I did not cause your pain, but I'm using it."
The orthopedic doctor calls it a frozen shoulder. Jesus calls it healed. It's a muscle beneath the shoulder that becomes locked up and is painful. The orthopedic doctor said, "You must stretch your arm to loosen that muscle. Here are six exercises twice a day for six weeks including hanging on a bar. You must stretch your arm until it hurts. Then lean into the hurt and count for 20 seconds with excruciating pain and then repeat."
After a few exercises I thought about the doctor, "He's got to be kidding me! It feels like I'm tearing my muscle apart. Like I'm ripping it out of my arm."
Is It a Good Pain or a Bad Pain?
He also advised me to visit a massage therapist. As she was working on my arm muscle, I had to let her know something. "It hurts! That's painful!"
She asked, "But is it a good pain or a bad pain?"
I said, "I am a no-pain person."
I was told if you want to recover faster, you can have someone else stretch your arm because they will pull it farther than you would. I thought to myself, How stupid is that? But in desperation to end this ordeal, I chose a physical therapist to stretch my arm. The pain was so great, I laughed.
I said to him, "Am I going crazy? Why did I laugh when I felt the worse pain of my life?"
He said, "That's your release! That laughter is your release!" I now believe pain can be an ingredient of laughter. I promise if you are now in pain that is beyond words, there will be a time when you will laugh again, and even drown in God's laughter.
"Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh" (Luke 6:21, NLT).
There was a time when my pain almost stopped my ministry. On a ministry trip, I became powerless to the pain that justified me not going to the next meeting. My wife and I prayed, but no relief. I phoned home to our intercessors for prayer. One intercessor, after praying, said, "Bill, you are on a mission. God has sent you there. You can trust Him." Something clicked in my spirit. I dragged my body to that meeting. The moment I stood up to minister the pain left me.
After the meeting, it returned with a vengeance. It fought me to the next meeting two days later. When I got up to minister, it left again and then followed me home. As this took place with many of my meetings, something dawned on me. I am stretching my spiritual muscles!
I want to encourage you. Sometimes you must walk through some stuff to get to where God is. But remember, you are on a mission and the great I AM has sent you!
Spiritual Frozen Muscles in the Body of Christ
Many times what I experience in my physical body is what is going on in the body of Christ. I sense the Lord showing there are some spiritual frozen muscles in His Body.
And I hear the Lord saying, "You need to stretch those muscles. Stretch until it hurts! Many of your healings will come while you are being stretched by others. I am stretching you this season out of your frozenness. I am stretching your arms further than you would like, so they can reach around a world full of pain, sin and brokenness. Those frozen muscles will thaw from the fire of My Spirit as you allow Me to stretch you."
Being Stretched Against the Odds
A woman kept standing for the healing of her husband who suffered a stroke, leaving a third of his brain dead. The doctor said to her, "He will never fully recover and will be a vegetable the rest of his life."
The woman said, "No, by the stripes of Jesus he is healed."
The doctor got upset with her and said, "I don't think you are taking me seriously. I have been doctoring these cases for 30 years."
The woman responded, "Jesus has been healing longer than that!"
Nine days later, her husband walked out of the hospital whole.
"In that day his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck; and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing oil" (Isa. 10:27).
After several months of pain, prayers of many, stretching exercises and some laser treatment, my frozen shoulder is finally loosed. The pain is gone. God has intervened again in my life.
Lord, help us to keep stretching and allowing You to stretch us beyond our pain.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. His prophetic email list is: @billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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