Thursday, December 10, 2009

How does one keep one’s faith when heavily drugged?

Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, readily admitted that of all of the tortures that he faced, it was the use of drugs by his persecutors that he found the most difficult. When I first read that over 12 years ago, I could not grasp the truth of what he was referring to, especially not when I had read of the horrific physical tortures that he had endured.

Now, as I struggle to write each line of this blog, I understand Pastor Wurmbrand’s words far better.

Right now I am in hospital undergoing radiation treatment. My doctor is hoping to shrink cancerous lymph nodes in my lower back and pelvic region that have increased in size and are pressing against nerves, causing a great deal of pain.

To counter this pain, I am taking painkillers that are increasingly hindering my ability to think clearly. Emotionally, these drugs are making me fragile and insecure, and my inability to remember details is only reinforcing this.

Yes, I can understand why Pastor Wurmbrand felt that drugs were the greatest challenge that he had faced in his years of torture. You find yourself in a position when you wonder how successful you are really being in controlling your mind, mouth, or emotions. You simply don’t know. You fear what you might have said but which you cannot remember. You cannot remember Bible verses that were once precious to you. You cannot remember things that you know you should know (right now, for example, I cannot remember how many years Pastor Wurmbrand was in prison. I should know this and I could look it up, but it is good that you know what I am referring to. I simply do not remember if it was 12 or 14 years).

When drugged up, you find it harder to retain one’s confession of faith and truth when you cannot control your tongue. Of course, I am sure of God’s faithfulness at times like this. But drugs make you wonder what is real was real and what was drug-induced. Perhaps your past faithfulness was just a ruse. Guilt becomes a constant companion.

To that end, I ask you to pray for me during this time. More importantly, pray for Christian prisoners who undergo such drug-induced torture daily. For me, there is hope that it will end soon. For many of them, there is no such hope.


pbbcc said...

Well said, Glenn. I understand a little of what you're experiencing - especially the frustration of not being able to recall things that were once precious to me.

I will be praying with you my friend, and for the many who are experiencing an unrelenting suffering because of their faith in God.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about the drugs, especially when you write, "But drugs make you wonder what is real was real and what was drug-induced. Perhaps your past faithfulness was just a ruse." That makes complete sense. Thankfully our Father is eternally the same, not changing like the shifting shadows (James 1:17). Even when it becomes difficult to hold on to our minds, we know that He will hold on to us forever. Hang in there, Glenn!

Tuneman said...

Yes prayers are with you. I have recently been having a journey that makes me understand this a little too.

pvwiebe said...

Lord be with this man, may you give him and Denita peace that passes human understanding, and oh yes Lord please take care of the pain.

Peter Wiebe

Anonymous said...

My deepest prayers are with you.
-Your sis

Joe Hendricks said...

I am praying God will give you clarity despite the medications, relief from the pain and an uninterrupted night of rest..Joe

Heidi said...

I value your thoughts and sorrow at your pain and struggles. This is a case for "Lord have mercy" and for being reminded that the Lord DOES have mercy on us, sinners and fallen and unable to control ourselves. Truely useless and helpless. And well LOVED.

Ethan said...

Glenn, God spared me from pediatric cancer when I was fifteen. I'm twenty-five today. I definitely understand the emotions you are experiencing, although in my case, I don't know if it was from the drugs or simply because I was fifteen (or a combination). I wish I had a solution for you, but alas, I do not. Satan attacks us when we are weak. Yet, when we realize we are weak, it is then that God's strength is most strongly manifested. Despite the fact that I have no solution, I can tell you that I love you a lot Brother, and I'm thinking and praying for you. Your work for the Kingdom is greatly appreciated by many the world over. I hope and pray that the pain passes soon and that these drugs serve their purpose and you no longer have to use them. God bless!