Let’s talk about bacteria. About a bout of bacteria, if you will. Ever had one?
You can’t see it, but you know it’s there. Especially when it’s making your body sick. All symptoms are pointing to a big neon sign that reads: “Hello, I’m Bacteria! … and I’ll Be Here Alllllll Week!”
When this happens (if you’re like me), you first have to acknowledge that you have a problem and that you’re actually “sick.” Then, you try and tend to the situation on your own. Over-the-counter medications and homespun remedies usually come into play, as you “plop plop fizz fizz” and rub smelly menthol ointment all over yourself (trust me, it really works: ointment on the chest, then a thin T-shirt and then your pajamas). You feel a little better and think you’re not so sick.
But then the bacteria can really make its presence known, and you have to put on your big girl pants and go see a professional. It’s not a fun trip (who likes to go see the doc anyway?), but it’s oh so necessary if you’re going to find out what’s causing your problems so that you can get well.
When you get there and the doctor pokes and prods, looks and listens, measures and tests, you then realize that you’re a lot “sicker” than you first thought. And you need super-strength prescription help that only the physician can offer you.
Well, guess what? That’s exactly what happened to me this week.
On Tuesday, I thought I just had a stomach virus. I woke up in the middle of the night, and before I knew it I was hugging the porcelain “throne” off and on for the next nine hours or so.
I took the day off and stayed under the covers for most of the time. And I felt a little better the next day. But yesterday, I felt differently. Hmmm, it hurts when I swallow and I’m coughing and my nose is stuffy and my head hurts and my ears are blocked. Hey … that’s not part of a stomach virus!!!!
So this morning, at my previously scheduled annual exam (thank you, Lord!), my doctor informed me that yes, indeed, I am “sicker.” The stomach virus had masked an upper respiratory infection that had been quietly doing it’s thing behind the scenes. Great. I’m sicker. Now what am I supposed to do?
Upon leaving the doctor’s office, I decided I could either (a) continue my schedule through the weekend as planned and ignore the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever or (b) I could make adjustments (rest, fluids, staying indoors) to nip this in the bud.
I’m leaning toward Plan B right now. Why? Because I know that if I don’t take some precautions now, that I will end up going from “sicker” to “sickest” by Monday. Plus, I know it’s what my doctor has advised me to do. She obviously knew better what I needed than I did.
You could draw a comparison from the physical to the spiritual here in regard to our human condition and the Great Physician. Little symptoms lead the way to even BIGGER heart issues. And if we don’t let the Holy Spirit get in there and expose what ails us and convict us with how we should be living, then we will never get well and be able to live a truly healthy, fruit-bearing life in Christ.
Don’t believe me? Well ... then get some rest, take two of these verses and call me in the morning. ...
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.