“After studying your mammogram, the radiologist requires further information. We’ll need to schedule you for an ultra sound. What day next week works best?”
“The lab results confirm my suspicions. That spot on your neck is basal cell carcinoma.”
“Your ankle’s toast.” That is one my family will never forget.
Thank the Lord for doctors, medical treatment, and preventive medicine. Early detection tests save lives, which is why women over 50 get mammograms annually. It isn’t because we like them.
Still, sometimes the news cannot be classified as heartening. In this flesh, one of our biggest battlefields is our health.
It was the same for the Apostle Paul. He wrote: “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Corin. 12:7).
What was this “thorn” Paul spoke about? Some believe it may have been his troubled eyesight. Others conclude he was referring to Alexander the coppersmith. Some say it may have been temptation, malaria, migraines, epilepsy or a speech disability (Got Questions Ministry).
Regardless of what it was, the fact of the matter was this affliction caused Paul pain. His discomfort drove him to his knees. He asked the Lord to remove “this thing.” In fact, Paul was so troubled by this ailment he “besought the Lord thrice” (2 Corin. 12:8) to take it away.
When our health gets us down and causes us to worry, we should remember Paul’s conclusion. The Lord’s answer to Paul’s request? “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corin. 12:9).
Sounds pretty much like a “no” to my ears. Did Paul pout? Did he head out for a second opinion? Did he throw in the towel and decide he was too sick to be of use to the Lord?
Paul decided “most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities” (2 Corin. 12:9). What about us? We pick up the phone and call our friends to complain about our terrible migraine. They offer up the desired sympathy. We take our prescription medicine and head off to bed.
Paul said “I take pleasure in infirmities” because “when I am weak then am I strong” (2 Corin. 12:10). Doesn’t sound at all like our excuse for not making it to church Wednesday night. After all, we were feeling nauseous or had a long day at work.
Our flesh is weak, no doubt about it. Satan can easily defeat us on the battlefield of our health.
If we want to be victorious, we need to follow Paul’s advice. We need to get a new perspective on our health problems. They are a golden opportunity for Christ to shine through us.
It doesn’t make my head hurt any less, but I can stop complaining about the pain when I look at it through these “spiritual-colored” glasses.
I am so weak, Lord. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
Next up – Battlefield: Circumstances