by David Sisler

A medical researcher in New York has made a discovery with rats which every pregnant woman can appreciate.

The researcher has taken rats that are all the same age and in the same physical condition and has given them the same number of electrical shocks at the same voltage. In every case, pregnant rats are able to take the pain of the electrical shock better than male rats and female rats that are not pregnant.

He has discovered that 16 days before the mother rat has her baby rat, her threshold of pain, her ability to withstand pain, is raised. Then two days before birth, her ability to withstand pain is raised again.

For years doctors have given "placebos" to their patients. It is common practice in medical research. One group of patients receives a drug, another group receives a sugar pill, a placebo. Interestingly, many who receive the placebo, also get better.

"Oh, that's just psychological," the skeptic says.


For years we have held the hand of an sick person and said, "I love you. I know you are going to get well." And we've seen them overcome their illness.

It's not merely psychological. Recent research indicates that there is something within the human body which responds positively to encouragement. It is an ability, placed by God, within our bodies, that is even stronger than chemicals.

What about the pregnant rats? If you gave them a chemical pain reliever, would they be able to withstand even more pain? The researchers have found there was no extra ability to take pain. They could not exceed the threshold of pain provided by God, even in a mother rat.

God makes provisions for our pain, and not just the physical kind.

Joseph was a brilliant teenager. He was gifted with the ability to dream dreams which revealed the future. He was also the favorite of both his mother and father and for that reason, hated by his 11 brothers.

One day the brothers concocted a scheme by which they could get rid of Joseph and profit financially, all at the same time. They would sell him into slavery and tell his father that wild animals had killed him.

Joseph was resold to an Egyptian official and after a period of time, placed in charge of the official's house. There he was later falsely accused of rape and unjustly imprisoned. But in prison, Joseph learned that God could provide for his pain.

What odds would you give on a convicted rapist becoming prime minister? No gambler anywhere in the world would give odds on that, but that is exactly what happened in the life of Joseph. Through the pain of prison, Joseph was elevated to the second highest position in Egypt.

Pharaoh said, "Joseph, everyone will bow to you." And they did. Even the woman who accused him of rape and her husband who imprisoned him. That was God providing for his pain.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before He died, Jesus shrank from pain. It was not the pain of the nails, or the pain of death which tormented Jesus, although no sane man would welcome such pain. It was the pain of knowing He would become our sin and take our hell and be abandoned by God. Yet on the cross, the threshold of pain was raised for Jesus so that He could endure your hell and mine.

Right now, you may be suffering pain. It many be an illness. Your husband may have abandoned you. Your business may have just failed. Whatever it is, because Jesus Christ conquered the pain of sin and death and hell at Calvary, He is waiting to give you a boost of His peace, of His love, of His joy. If He would so care for a pregnant rat that he would raise her threshold of pain twice before delivery, don't you understand He cares abundantly more for you?



Published in the Augusta Chronicle 2/4/95

Copyright 1995 by David Sisler

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