Monday, May 12, 2008

Diagnosis

My MRIs came out normal. The orthopedic surgeon examined me and said my problem was arthritis under both kneecaps. He felt them popping as he moved my knees around. I left his office overjoyed that I would not have to have surgery. I still had to ice my knees and take ibuprofen 3 times a day, but at least I now knew the cause of my pain and swelling, and that eventually it would go away.

Later, it dawned on me that in the past 6 months, I'd been told I have arthritis in my lower back, neck, and now knees. I'm in my fifties and I never thought I'd have this trouble at such an early age. The old "me" would be depressed right now. But I've faced a poor prognosis before and because I ran to God and sought His face and His will and prayed His Word, I have been changed. I have moved from carnal living to spirit-filled living, from a life of panic and depression to a life of peace, inner joy, and contentment.

This morning I prayed the beginning verses of Psalm 103: "Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all your sins. Who heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit, and who crowns you with love and compassion. Who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles."

How do I reconcile the words, "Who heals all your diseases" with my diagnosis of arthritis? I can only conclude that if God allows me to have arthritis, it is because He has purposed for me to have it and that He will use it for His glory. Just as He allowed me to have panic and depression and used it to pull me out of the sin of disbelief, to prove to me that He is real, that His love is real, and that His Word is true, and to enable me to share my testimony. How would I have ever known the thrill of Him as my Champion if I had never needed to be delivered by Him?

James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I want to be mature and complete. I am not saying that I will not pray to be healed from this arthritis. I believe in healing and in praying the Scriptures. I believe in standing on God's Word and trusting in Him to deliver me. What I am saying is that I want to be in the center of God's will--whatever it is! If healing comes tomorrow or if it doesn't come until I see Jesus face-to-face, I want to live for the praise of His glory!

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