The last time I saw my general physician, I’d asked him, “Don’t you think there is something wrong that is causing all of these different chronic illnesses? Something you’re missing that’s the root cause?” Several years ago, internal inflammation entered my life and was addressed with a bandaid solution from apathetic health care. But bandaids never heal, so the inflammation spread and damaged all kinds of organs and systems until I could no longer function. Hence, the stepping down from ministry message I posted last September. The doctor’s response to my question was that I needed to resign myself to the fact that I would never be healed. Final diagnosis: six chronic diseases and a future of multiple physicians, pain, bills, and a full medicine cabinet.
I’d prayed for chronic joy. Thanked the Lord for the gift of pain. Learned the value of obedience to His command to rest. And realized that the lessons learned down any dark path of pain, have always resulted in gratitude for what the Lord brought out of it. But in these divine restraints and uncomfortable restrictions, I’ve craved to know how to abound.
At times, I’ve felt shackled, shelved, trapped, and purposeless. FELT is the keyword.
About a month ago, my fingers cramped as I pushed them to write at the speed of information I heard on the phone. I felt like I was back in Croatia, plucking words and phrases I understood out of a foreign tongue. I thought I knew health…until I met nutritionist Sherri Sienna. (Click here for her blog and contact information) She paused after reviewing a long list of “off the charts” test results and said, “So here’s what the doctor I spoke with advised; rather than treat you for all of the things that are wrong in your body, I’m just going to focus on your core. If we can get that healthy, then many of your problems in other areas may heal as a result.”
Heal? Did she actually say heal? A resounding “amen” echoed in my heart.
I’ve been under her godly counsel and nutritional advice since then and have already weeded off of one of my main medications. The Lord also sent a godly naturopath, Dr. Les Moore (Click here for his web page), who has helped me in more ways and more times than I can count through this.
But I’m going to admit what my core sickness is…the root cause of all kinds of destruction throughout my life. Pride. I have all kinds of other chronic issues; fiery temper, inflammatory defensiveness, painfully stubborn will, love-resistant selfishness, and over-sensitivity to criticism. But they are just damaged, sin-filled symptoms that come from the root of pride.
Because of pride, I can lose minutes, months, or years of peace with another person. Pride damages trust, destroys my witness, grieves the Spirit, and gratifies Satan. Pride is always contagious in pain, affecting everyone and anyone it comes into contact with. Whenever I allow pride to take root, I invite God’s resistance and echo powerless prayers. Some of the symptoms are an inability to say “thank you” and “please forgive me.” My temperature is a low-grade coldness and spiritual actions are essentially Christian placebos…empty in substance like clouds with no rain.
If pride is allowed to become a permanent resident in a Christian’s life, be sure that its infection will spread. Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Others might see sexual sin, unfaithfulness, dishonesty or materialism, or you might hear them verbally attack the church, godly leaders, or disdain the lost. But underneath it all, at some point, when the Lord diagnosed pride in their heart, the patient merely covered it over with a bandaid solution while its deadly infection travelled into other areas of their life.
As I wiped my lips of the nutritional green smoothie I’d swallowed, I asked the Lord to help me do more than swallow my pride. May I be more concerned about my spiritual health than my physical health. It is possible for me to walk in complete eternal health today before Him…if I obey the Doctor’s orders.
The way of the Lord is humility and His character is meekness. The core of God is love….and the symptoms are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23).
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Back to my Bible…and eating His words that bring health and life.