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Passing Through My Wilderness - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time there lived a man named Lee.  Lee was a nice Christian guy who was an active member of the church he attended and also a big time viewer of Christian television channels.
   He was pretty cool but of late he’d been going through some really rough times. Everybody who knew him knew his life wasn’t a bed of roses right now.
   Lee was struggling financially. And physically he was sick. He was taking the drugs that the best doctor he could afford had prescribed but as we all know, Doctors prescriptions don’t work miracles and in Lee’s case it wasn’t helping matters at all. If it was, it sure didn’t show it.
   In spite of all that Lee was going through, Lee still kept his faith in God, believing that someday everything would be OK.
   One Friday evening, Lee’s basketball buddy Chan, who attended a different church stopped by to visit Lee.
   When they got to talking, Lee told Chan that everything is cool, that he’s just going through his wilderness. That God was simply testing him. He had watched a sermon on his favorite Christian Channel and his favorite TV Evangelist had preached that sometimes God takes us through hell or the wilderness like he took the Israelites through the wilderness before they got to the Promised Land.
   The preacher said that sometimes when we are suffering and we cry out to God and it looks as if nothing happens, it is because we are going through the wilderness. God wants us to endure through those difficult times so he can get us to our Promised Land.
   Chan was disgusted by what Lee just said. He told Lee that thinking like that would kill him. That sickness and suffering is not of God, it is of the devil, and God never uses the devil’s tools to train his children.
   God doesn’t inflict his children with sickness in order to test them.
   It is written that healing is the children’s bread. Jesus bore all those stripes on the cross so by his stripes we would be healed. So we ought to be walking in divine health. We ought not be sick as believers in Jesus.
   Chan told Lee that whenever we are suffering and we cry out to God and it looks like nothing happens, it doesn’t mean that it’s because we are going through the wilderness like the TV Evangelist had said but it simply means we don’t have faith.
   Chan and Lee talked for a long time until Lee finally agreed with Chan.
   Chan laid hands on Lee and Lee was miraculously healed at that instant. He no longer had to wait for an unknown time for things to be OK.
   Lee’s finances improved too as he got a raise at work and his investments in the stock market blossomed.
   Lee was happy and content once more. His life was now a bed of roses.
   Months later the sickness started showing signs of returning but he rebuked it in the name of Jesus and it went away.
   Lee still watched his favorite TV Evangelist on his favorite Christian TV Channel.
   He watched another sermon that was in line with the sermon about going through the wilderness and he heard the TV Evangelist use lots of large convincing, theological words and Lee soon figured that perhaps that TV Evangelist was right all along. I mean he’s got a spot on TV, he’s been preaching for years and he even has a PHD in both Medicine and Theology so he just has to be right. Perhaps, Chan was wrong and the only reason he got healed when Chan prayed for him was because coincidentally that was the day God had appointed for him to finish going through the wilderness. After all Chan didn’t have a PHD in anything. Surely, his words shouldn’t be taken over the words of guy on TV who has two PHDs.
   Lee discarded everything he had learnt from Chan and believed the words of the TV Evangelist.
   Months later the sickness came again.
   Lee decided he would wait out the wilderness period. Unfortunately, in spite of the drugs the doctor gave him, he died waiting for the wilderness period to be over. He died waiting for God to heal him someday instead of doing what he had learnt from Chan by praying and receiving his healing today.
   It’s sad really. Lee died because he taught that PHDs and TV coverage has anything to do with spiritual maturity.


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