Dealing with Symptoms
I am writing this week from a lovely hospital room at Blodgett Medical Center overlooking Fisk Lake in EGR. Though the room is lovely, I would much rather be out enjoying the day, as would our daughter Lydia who has had to endure another flare up of a genetic condition which causes rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdo is no fun. It is characterized by a very painful break down of muscle tissue and the release of a protein into the blood stream, that if untreated will overwhelm her kidneys and could lead to death. Thankfully, we are learning to recognize the symptoms and got going on treating the rhabdo early, mitigating its effects.
The frustrating part of this whole pattern that Lydia has to endure is that, though we have learned to treat the rhabdo, in reality we are only treating symptoms. What we don’t fully understand is why this relatively rare condition is triggered in her. And, at an even deeper level, we don’t know how to treat the core issue that is the cause of all her distress.
This “treating of symptoms" is a picture of the way sin work in our lives. Over the course of our days and weeks, we deal with anger, greed, lust, sloth, needless worry, etc… Like rhabdo, these are serious, threatening to overwhelm us and need to be dealt with; but they are not our core issue. At core for all of us is the question of surrender and trust. Have we truly surrendered our need for control and our desire to justify ourselves, and have we begged Jesus to be our King? Or are we holding back, unable or unwilling to trust fully?
Unlike Lydia’s battle with rhabdo, we do know the way to core health with the Savior. This week in Luke 9 we see that Jesus welcomes the crowds, speaks to them of the kingdom, and cures those who are in need of healing (v. 11). This is a Savior who does not despise the crowds. This is Lord who welcomes us in our infirmity. This is a King who is worthy of our surrender. In our battle with symptoms, Jesus invites us to get to the core and find our rest as we surrender to Him. What a joy it is to not merely have to deal with symptoms.