Radio Reflection – 16th November 2015

The Guinea Worm
Jesse Brand, a young missionary in the mountains of India, bent over the leg of a young boy. His son Paul – just a boy himself – watched in horrified fascination. His father tugged at a tiny protrusion on the boy’s skin. Leaning forward, Paul looked closely and saw that the dark brown thing was the head of a worm. His dad was pulling a worm out of the boy’s skin.

He couldn’t walk away. He watched as his father took a stick from the ground and began winding the worm’s head around the stick. Slowly, with immense caution, he tugged slightly on the worm. As he pulled, the worm began to come out of the boy’s leg. Jesse carefully wound the worm around the stick. And then he stopped.

Paul didn’t understand. He could clearly see the outline of the worm on the boy’s leg. It was more than two feet long. Why didn’t his father pull it all out?

But even a deeper question persisted… why did God create that worm? And why was that worm in the boy’s leg? He remembered the Bible verse his parents had him memorize: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Surely this was not good.

The guinea worm lurks in unsafe water. Much too small to be seen by the human eye – the tiny larvae are ingested right from the water. Inside the body they bury deep beneath the body’s tissues. They grow to two, three and even four feet long. As they mature they seek water and air and work their way through the tissues to escape. When their head pokes out of the body, it must be gently tugged without breaking. The worm is painful but rarely fatal.

Paul Brand, one of the world’s greatest surgeons, learned early in his life that pain was a reality. As he meditated on Romans 8, the Spirit worked in his life – God did not promise that there would be only good things in our life – He promised that all things will work out for the good.

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More reflections for Leprosy Awareness week 2015:

Tuesday 17th: Giant…

Paul Brand was prepared to walk against the tide to ensure that men, women and children who suffered from the world’s oldest known communicable disease could live with hope and dignity…

Read more

Wednesday 18th: Unwanted…

Mother Teresa, an icon of Christian compassion, once said: “we have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted…”

Read more

Thursday 19th: Pain…

As a medical doctor, Dr. Brand saw a lot of pain. As a young boy he swore never to be a Doctor but to run from pain and live in comfort. But his life experience and God’s hand upon his life changed everything.

Read more

Radio Cover Photo: By Gregory F. Maxwell PGP:0xB0413BFA [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons;
Children: By Rafael Robles [CC-BY-2.0];
Mother Teresa: By Manfredo Ferrari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons;
Drawing pins: By Coldbolt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons