One of the ways the Lord shows His daily faithfulness in my life is to speak through present circumstances.
This past Saturday I was struggling to move. Literally.
Fourteen years ago, shortly after Caroline was born, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
The onset of this disease was fast and harsh.
Severe pain. All over.
I was bed-ridden within a week.
A specialist was quickly able to diagnose this disease that was attacking my body.
Rheumatoid arthritis falls into the category of an auto immune disease.
Here is the gist of what that means (in non-medical Andrea terms): my body is attacking itself.
So my immune system, which is supposed to fight invading bacteria that would make me sick, instead attacks my healthy tissue and cells.
In short, I AM MY OWN ENEMY.
And I don't even mean to do it.
(It is really pretty crappy...but we all have stuff to deal with and manage)
Thankfully there are medicines available that can help ease the symptoms of this wicked disease.
All of these medicines work together to help me...but the best medicine to fight the damage of this disease is a medicine called Enbrel.
It is an injection. Yes. A blasted shot.
I. Hate. Shots.
Thankfully my husband has become the master at administering them and I hardly even feel it (yay for that)!
The Enbrel goes into my body and suppresses my immune system so it cannot attack itself.
Are you beginning to see how God is using this in my life?
Let me give you some context in God's Word~
"I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitable do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind." Romans 7:18-23
Just as my own immune system declares war on itself, there is a spiritual war that wages in me constantly.
My flesh (this selfish, arrogant, vain, mean, vindictive, jealous, whiny, self-righteous, doubting, foolish, angry,fear-filled person) tries to daily declare war on the person I am in Jesus Christ.
I don't even mean to.
My old nature just does what old natures do.
So I am in desperate need of something that goes into my mind to fight this old nature.
God's Word acts as the medicine that keeps my old sin nature from flaring up.
The more I stay in His Word...the more my old nature has to retreat.
If you follow Christ Jesus and live in this fallen world...you are just as auto immune as I am.
Without heavy and daily doses of the truth of the Word and prayer we are doomed to lose that internal war.
Thankfully the Lord has given us every tool to win. Himself. His precious Holy Spirit resides within us. His Word changes the way we think and softens cold and critical hearts.
We DO NOT have to walk around defeated and allowing the old nature to win this internal war.
But many of us do....to the great detriment of the reputation and grace of Jesus Christ.
Rise up Christians. Fight through means of submission. Recognize and confess the ugly stuff that lurks in your hearts and minds. Allow grace and conviction to do its work.
If I refused to take the prescribed medicine for my rheumatoid arthritis and yet complained constantly of debilitating pain....my guess is that I would receive very little pity. And zero relief.
Yet we do the same thing.
We cry out in our need for peace, comfort, joy, forgiveness, mercy, provision, power, strength, and love that we must have in order to function.
And the prescription for all of the above sits on some shelf or bedside table...barely used or believed.
In this season of Christmas I am humbled to no end that my Savior would wrap Himself in this flesh to save my stubborn and self-bent soul.
When you take some real inventory of the sin that longs to eat you alive....the gift of baby Jesus will humble you as well.
A perfect, spotless Son of God came for the chief purpose to save a sinful me.
Merry Christmas my auto immune friends!
"So now there is NO condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.
He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit."