Wednesday, December 09, 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.


Amaris in Wonderland said...

This was well written, in spite of the meds.

You are so right. I have a medical history of being heavily medicated for various injuries/ongoing physical ailments, and i know what you are talking about.

Guilt and doubt caused me to only take [a portion of] the meds when the pain levels were extreme - which the doctors later told me was the incorrect way to treat the pain. (It's harder to get it under control.)

It is harder to react, recall or remain confident in our abilities, decisions and emotions... while medicated.

God is faithful. He uses us where we are, as He's using you. Thank you for your faithfulness. I will keep you in prayer.

Until i read this blog, i hadn't even considered that Christians were tortured with drugs. I thought that was only done to POWs? Thank you for making this known.

Anonymous said...

Do we keep our faith or does out Creator hold it when our bodies fail?

You are precious to Him, and you are in my prayers.

wv: distort:^)


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your honesty, Glenn. My hubby was a few years on drugs that left him frustrated and miserable, and unable to communicate to me how the medications were affecting him. Though he is off them now, hopefully forever, I appreciate pictures into what he was going through for what seemed like forever at the time. Know also, I now know how better to pray for you, having seen his pain for so long.

Thank you also, for reminding me about drug use on the persecuted prisoners. I will add this also to my daily prayers.

Cheryl Read said...

Praying for you and them. Thank you for opening sharing your story.

Lorraine said...

I am praying for you Glen.
Your sister,

Anonymous said...

I just heard about Richard Wurmbrand's torture with drugs and was wondering why it was the worst. Thank you for sharing and explaining. I am praying for you. -Anne

Jeanette said...

You, and they, are in our prayers. Your comments, even with the drugs, are very insightful. Thank you for sharing at this very difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Glenn for your post. . . one can sense the pain of confusion for you in your current situation. As one who has always enjoyed your posts for their passion and articulation, this post is just as eloquent.

2 Corinthians 4 comes to mind. . . "perplexed but not driven to despair." My prayer is that Christ will be your "but not" in the midst of your struggles. . . that you will find in Christ the hope and life to press on.

God continue to bless you, my brother,