1 Corinthians 3:3
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Thursday afternoon we had choir practice. I had a POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) attack while there. During a POTS attack my heart races and my blood pressure drops. My meds usually work quickly to control it, but it takes days or even weeks to fully recover from a bad attack. After driving home (which I shouldn’t have been doing), I let my goats and sheep out and went down the hill to put away my chickens. While ducking myself down under the chicken coop to reach the little chicks, I felt a sudden soreness in my legs. They got heavy and uncomfortable. I also tweaked my neck trying to duck under. I have fusions at c2/occipital and c4/5, so my neck doesn’t move easily. When I stood my left leg offered no support. I limped back to the steps in my yard and dragged myself back up them and back to the house.
After a short time, I knew I had to put the goats away, but I still didn’t have full control of the leg. I called my husband and told him to be prepared to call the neighbors if I didn’t get out of the goat pen safely. Thankfully, I did.
The rest of the evening I stressed over my left leg and allowed myself to stew over it. The next morning, I also had weakness in my left arm. About halfway through the day, I decided I had to go the emergency room. Many hours and an MRI later, they still didn’t know what was wrong with me, but thought it could be a pinched or inflamed nerve, so they pumped me up with steroids. By bed time that night I started to lose control of the right leg also. To say I was afraid was an understatement. Amazingly though, I woke up with full use of both legs the next day. I went all of Saturday with the use of both legs, but the following morning (Sunday) during choir practice before church, I lost partial use of the left leg again. I didn’t fully regain it yesterday, but I did have use of it this morning.
The point of sharing all this with you is to let you know that I am yet carnal. We all are to some extent. We are in the flesh. When something happens to our flesh it seems devastating. It is hard to look up and remember that God is in control. Whatever is happening to my physical body is temporal. I have a home with Christ Jesus. I am part of His body. Why is it so difficult to focus on the spiritual when I am plagued with problems in the flesh? They are a distraction. I credit my problems with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome for bringing me closer to the Lord in the first place. If it weren’t for my physical calamities I wouldn’t have known how much I needed the Lord. I was distracted by work, school, family, and so much more. Once He allowed pain and illness to touch my life, I found that I couldn’t handle it. I had to reach out to Him. Praise the Lord for the afflictions that bring us closer to the Lord.
Yet for some reason, this affliction seemed to pull me away, or did it? I spent my time in the MRI machine in prayer. I know my God is great and can heal me. I know He loves me and wants the best for me, so if I lose the use of my legs, temporarily or permanently, He has me in His hands and will guide me forward. I need to focus on Him and not on my own physical failings.
Yesterday, Pastor Dave suggested I use a wheelchair. I left my crutch (not the kind they give you when you break your leg– it is sort of like a cane, but easier on my joints) at home not knowing I would need it. I balked at the idea of using a wheelchair.
Then something the pastor said during Sunday School pricked my heart. I don’t remember his words, but I suddenly realized it was a pride thing. I was once again focused on the flesh. Not wanting my physical weakness to show so visibly. I’ve been the same way in the past when people have suggested I start using a walker. By the end of Sunday School, I had relented and asked one of our deacons to get me a wheelchair from the foyer. I was embarrassed, but I survived it. Sometimes the need to be independent is a serious pride issue. Sometimes the need to appear whole is a serious pride issue. Sometimes the desire to get everything done perfectly is a serious pride issue.
I needed to let go of my pride yesterday and submit to whatever the Lord has in store for me. He has me covered. All I need to do is trust and obey. Allow myself to go through this. Lean on Him and let Him get me through it. I’m not beating myself up for being human. I’m fallible and should expect to remain so as long as I am in the flesh. What I am doing is recognizing my need to be focused on Him.
Those are my thoughts today. Let’s let go of envying, strife, and most of all pride. I want to be spiritual not carnal.
Put your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
(All verse references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly referred to as the King James Version.)