Autoimmune disease often comes with the nasty little issue we like to call “chronic pain.” Man, do I hate that stuff. About three years ago, I discovered a treatment for autoimmune disease that is rarely prescribed. It’s not specific to any one autoimmune disease, but it works by keeping your body from over-producing the antibodies that cause your symptoms. Well, despite the fact that I really hate taking medicine, I decided to talk to my doctor. He talked at length with me about it, and finally came to the conclusion, “It’s not gonna kill you, so let’s give it a try.”
Thing is, it has to come from a compounding pharmacy and takes three days to get it refilled, and my insurance won’t pay for it, and my doctor has moved away so I have to drive a good ways to see him so he can keep prescribing it. These obstacles do not play well with my tendency to not be really faithful about tending to myself.
When I run out of my medicine, the first symptom I notice is that I start hurting everyday. It hurts to get out of bed. It hurts to think, to walk, to do anything. Pain makes me not like myself, or most people. It clouds my judgment. But I can take this simple little capsule once every day and the pain will ease off, almost immediately. So why don’t I do it?
I mean, sure I want to feel better, I want to be better at self-care. I know when I’m taking care of myself better, then I can better take care of others. But I let the little inconveniences keep me from doing what I know I need to do- calling the pharmacy, taking the long-way home to pick it up, driving to Macon County for a doctor’s visit, paying for the expensive lab work that insurance hates to pay for. I have a desire to do good, but at the same time, I have the innate tendency to give in to the false sense of comfort I get from doing nothing.
It’s just as easy to approach the presence of sin in our lives the same way. The less we practice confession and repentance, the easier it gets to ignore it, until our heartsickness begins to get the better of us. We feel pain from being separated from our relationship with God. Our relationships with others begin to suffer because of the self-centeredness of sin. We become dissatisfied and discontent and unwilling to accept His will in matters that concern us.
It’s simple, but not easy. Honesty with God is humbling, but it is freeing. Repentance is not comfortable, but it brings such great comfort to our lives to be restored to a right relationship with God. That is the everlasting cure for sin-sickness, and He has provided it for us free of charge. His mercies are new every morning, so it never runs out!
What keeps you from taking your medicine? What are the spiritual symptoms you notice when you stray from surrendering to God? What are the first things you notice when you turn back to Him? He’s a Great Physician. Make an appointment with Him today.