Ruffled feathers, indeed!

Last week I posted a copy of a letter I sent to the lab that did my blood work and copied to the various doctors I’ve been seeing.  The response I’ve seen has been less than awe inspiring.

The oncologist first gave me the great news that my blood test for cryoglobulin was, again, negative!  Woo-hoo!!  This means that the protein is not in my blood.  Two out of three tests were negative.  Excellent.

However, the doctor told me that my concerns about the lab were unwarranted.  Apparently, different labs process the cryoglobulin tests in different ways — he said that he’d never heard of requiring fasting for this test, but my own internet research showed at least three separate sources saying that lipids (fats) in the blood can interfere with the validity of the test, thus they recommended fasting.  Curious that both of my negative tests were received after I had been fasting.  Having said that, it is concerning that there is such a disparity between labs; who can a patient trust?  Which is the best?  We patients are usually forced to use whichever labs our doctors prefer without having any say in the matter.  It is as if the doctors see themselves as mini gods who know all, and they look down their noses on those of us who dare to ask questions.

Not that all doctors are that way.

Certainly the Greatest Physician who ever walked this earth wasn’t like that.  Jesus answered questions in ways that enlightened — and any sense of inferiority we may feel upon his answers are warranted because of Who he is.

There are references to the spiritual gift of healing in scriptures.  Which brings me to a new revelation I had this week while reading 1 Corinthians 14 regarding spiritual gifts.

The early Christians sought certain spiritual gifts.  They desired to have different ones, and apparently the Spirit granted some of their wishes.  This is a foreign concept to me.  I’ve taken those “spiritual gift” inventories and discovered those things in which I am gifted…but it never once occurred to me to ASK the Lord for a certain spiritual gift.  Has it occurred to you?

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he writes in Chapter 14:

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.

Desire?  What exactly does that mean?  I always thought that we got whatever God gives us, period.  But a look into the Greek opens up the meaning and an entirely different perspective on how we can serve the Lord.  The word used here is the verb zeloo and is closely associated with our word zealous.  It literally means to burn with zeal, to pursue zealously all that is good.  The implication of this verb is this: the early Christians apparently desired to have different spiritual gifts to be used for the church body.  This means that I, too, can desire, go after, seek, and be zealous for a particular spiritual gift.  Paul is specifically speaking about the gift of prophesy and of speaking in tongues and interpretation…but the fact remains that he wrote that the believers should zeloo.  This means that, in the realm of spiritual gifts, we can ask God!

I don’t know why that is so astonishing to me.  Jesus did tell us that if we had just a tiny bit of faith we could tell a mountain to move, and it would move.  When his curses killed a fig tree in one day, he told his astonished disciples that they would do even greater things than He did.  The practical application of that, though, is what stumps me.

I’ll have to mull this one over a bit, see if I can find any other references to Christians seeking out certain spiritual gifts over others.  Certainly they had a superiority complex and had to be straightened out (I’ll never forget Paul admonishing them that the least honorable parts are those that are covered and protected…and that they are the most needed.  After all, feet may become sweaty, but they serve a very important function in a body!)  It just never dawned on me that they were looking for spiritual gifts like kids picking out candy in a candy store.

If you could ask for a particular spiritual gift, which one(s) would you choose, and why?

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