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Archive for February, 2009

Diabetes is God’s best

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“Cancer drugs halt type 1 diabetes in mice.” My heart jumped at the article headline. But even after 11 years have passed since I was first diagnosed as a near-death seven year old diabetic, I still forget if I am type 1 or type 2. I rushed upstairs to my laptop to google diabetes and confirm that I am, in fact, type 1. Turns out, there are a couple of drugs that have shown to send diabetes into remission in 80% of mice with type 1 diabetes. I hope you never know how much lab tests on mice can make your heart rush and eyes tear up when you stare at a potential cure that could change your life.

Diabetes was my Valentine’s Day gift in 1997. I do believe it was a gift, because it has made me who I am. It has been a physical and spiritual battle often, and I think it has deepened my faith in a way I would have likely missed otherwise. It is a physical struggle when for the ten-thousandth time, my blood sugar is whacked out and I feel horrible and would give the world to have a day to be “normal” again and not deal with diabetes. It is a spiritual struggle when I wonder what in the world God is doing, because whatever He’s doing, it is just hurting now.

But I see the positives. I think diabetes has taken away my fear of death. My blood sugar has crashed in the middle of the night so many times, and the only way I’d live to see the morning is if God sends an angel to wake me so I can bring my blood sugar up. I know my days are numbered, and evidently God doesn’t want me dead yet. I can see He is in control of life and death, so I have no fear.

Diabetes has also given me a passion to live the life I do have. Multiple times a day I have a reminder of how fragile my life is as I test my blood sugar and calculate my insulin dosage. When life’s fragility is so plainly held before your eyes, it would seem foolish to waste the life you do have. I don’t want to waste mine.

Diabetes’s weakness has brought humility when I would have otherwise boasted, and its demands have forced self-discipline on me when I would have been lazy. God touched my life and gave me His best for me when He gave me diabetes. My Father knew that the very best He could give me to make me more like His Son and glorify His name was diabetes.

Do I want a cure? Yeah. In all honesty, yes. I can’t deny it, I want out. It is His best for me, but if He gave us the cure for it I’d gladly move on to something else and let Him sanctify me some other way. Maybe that experiment with the mice will work out. Maybe, like every other article that has made my heart jump, this latest mouse test will fail. Regardless of the outcome, I want one thing to be clear: God is faithful. This much He has shown me. His plan is bigger than mine, His will is better than mine. I’ll rest peacefully in that, and let the presence of peace declare faith in the realness of God and His faithfulness.

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE4AG78H20081117?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews

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shapeimage_1-3Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

What a Savior, praise His name. The enemy was disarmed, death has no power. The enemy’s lie has been exposed to those in the light, bringing open shame on the exposed enemy. This shame belongs to the one who has been discovered as a complete sham in utter weakness, unable to prevail against Jesus Christ on the cross.

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1052644_25247254This was written by a fellow blogger, and it hit home with me. With his permission, I am posting this because I think brings up an important point dealing with the economy and where our trust is.

Ben writes,
“I don’t remember being this busy in years… College and the part time job I have at the local grocery store is just eating up all of my time but I am fulfilled and moving on in life. Because of this tight schedule I have not been able to post anything lately. Even as I type this, I am just back from work and find myself extremely tired and sleepy. I am writing this post so that I don’t have to feel bad about not posting anything. Every day at work I see a lot of interesting people ranging from good old grandmas to hip youngsters. Today, however I saw a very touching scene as a couple was unable to pay for all the stuff they bought. The guy was mightily embarrassed when he found out that he was well short of the total. He then had to return some items and go out with only the bare necessities… this sight made me feel really bad inside. It just hit me that lots and lots of people are struggling out there to make both ends meet. All of us who are pretty well off should stop complaining about all the little things and be thankful to God.. If you are also feeling the effects of our pathetic economy.. there is only one thing to do. Take it one day at a time and move on. You will see that God is more than enough to take care of you and your family. The one thing I have learned in my life is that God can give me anything, anywhere and at anytime. All we need to do is have faith in Him. He who takes care of the birds of the sky knows how to take care of you too. God does not need a stimulus package to save you… Our Father owns the whole world. This is the time for us to stop trusting in man (Government) and start trusting in God again.”

The economic impacts are very real and impacting very real people. In the midst of it all, our Fortress and Rock is as present as ever, and proving more faithful and trustworthy than the financial “rocks” we thought we could stand securely on. Glory to the Father, who is holy, set apart from this feeble world by His action and character.

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1 Peter 5:8-11
8 Be sober-minded; be
watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5 gives the “why” for watchfulness. Who wouldn’t want to watch out for the devil, when he is described as prowling and roaring, seeking to devour?? The devil isn’t just real, he is really waiting for the moment when he can devour someone. “Daniel’s adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour Daniel.” That is how it might as well read. I can’t lose my salvation, but I sure can suffer the devouring effects of falling into sin. Also, we know that the devil is waiting for the perfect moment, not just a random prowling. When the devil left Jesus after tempting Him in the wilderness, it was said that the devil would return at an opportune time (Luke 4:13). He’s waiting for me to close my eyes for a brief moment! Therefore, Peter says to be watchful.

But how? How do I be watchful? Sure, I can attempt to keep my eyes open 24/7, but what happens when I tire, and my personal strength fails?

Matthew 26:39-41
39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

I find it interesting that being prayerful is connected with being watchful. That is furthered in Ephesians and Colossians:

Ephesians 6:17-20
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Colossians 4:2
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

From these verses, I gather that you have closed your eyes and ceased to resist the devil once you cease to pray. You are inviting temptation to entangle you before you realize what is going on. What are you risking? Sin is destructive. It destroys you and those around you when you fall into sin. Ephesians pointed out that the prayer is for all the saints – we are in this together as a body, and we want none of the soldiers to fall.

Why – we watch because the devil is prowling.
How – by prayer to the One who has the strength we lack.

Lastly, what do I pray? Matthew 6:13 sums that up, and that can be expounded upon at a later time.

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1 Samuel 17:33-37
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

Jeremiah 1:4-9
4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

1 Timothy 4:11-16
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Do you see the trend? The youth are doubted.
I hear some young people claim these verses, as if the verses are a blanket statement that all youth are capable of more than they are given credit for. But in the context of each of those verses, the youth’s power and credibility came because of their reliance on God’s supernatural work, not on their own capabilitiy.

There is a lot packed in these verses, I am still unwrapping it. Does anyone know of any other similar verses (“but you are only a youth”)?

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This is one of my all time favorite sermons, by Charles Spurgeon:
Deceitfulness of Sin – http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols34-36/chs2130.pdf

We must grasp that sin is a lie trying to keep us from the best there is, God Himself.

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At a time when most bank CEOs are vilified, I think it is worth looking at a man who did right. This man said he had long dreamed of a way to give back to his employees. How much did he give? $60 million to 399 employees, some no longer even working for the bank. Read the rest of the story here: http://bit.ly/ZFSiJ

It offers a refreshing example of looking out for the interest of others in an arena of life where few do.

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