Matthew 9-10, 14; Mark 6; Luke 9:1-14
Today’s blog is a double…I’m blogging for yesterday’s reading assignment and for today’s assignment. My family just returned from a staycation at a local waterpark resort. It was a fun respite from cooking, cleaning, and laundry, especially since my body is still feeling very bruised and battered. More on that later.
Around this time in history, Jesus sent his disciples out two by two into neighboring villages. He gave them the authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, and perform other miracles. What I am puzzled about, though, is that he told them to go empty-handed. He explicitly told them to not carry a money purse or a change of clothes. Their orders were to find a family to stay with in each town. Why would he issue that command?
That would be like one of us going on a mission trip to Mexico, penniless. We’d wear sandals and take nothing but the clothes on our backs.
Perhaps the answer is bigger than our human minds can comprehend. It could be that he wanted his disciples to personally experience God’s provision. Maybe he wanted to give the villagers an opportunity to be generous. Often times people are won over easier if you ask them for a favor first.
Regardless of his reasons, the sending out was successful. Jesus’ fame spread far and wide.
It’s notable to me, especially now, that everywhere that Jesus went, people brought him the sick. Sickness is always one of the most troubling aspects of being human, isn’t it? We spend fortunes on medical care. In fact, many in our society view medical treatment as an inherent right regardless of a person’s ability to pay for that treatment. Did the people Jesus heal view their healing as a right? Or did they receive their healing with awestruck praise? Being whole and healthy is a natural longing for each of us.
I have just come through the most painful experience of my life thus far. That seems like an exaggerated statement, but it is not. Have you ever experienced “back labor” when giving birth? That is the level of pain that my body went through. I feel run down and sick, like there is something wrong with my body beyond just having a period. I still feel as if my back muscles have been through a meat grinder. Tylenol did nothing for the pain. The heating pad did nothing for the pain. Icy Heat did nothing for the pain. I lay there, weeping, thinking that I would do the unthinkable…take my own life, if I thought I could do it and still get to see Jesus. Isn’t that horrible? I hate that those thoughts passed through my brain, but I know I was nearly out of my mind with pain. I wouldn’t play “God” like that ever (nor would the Holy Spirit let me do that, so you readers don’t be alarmed)…the point is that I certainly felt empathy for someone in chronic severe pain who chooses to self medicate with illegal drugs or to escape via suicide. I have never ever smoked, and I do not drink, or take anything stronger than Tylenol. But at 3am early Friday morning, I might have inhaled if something had been available! Instead I contemplated performing surgery on myself to get this awful uterus out.
Which brings me to my current thinking. Rather than having exploratory surgery in December, I’m thinking about talking to the doctor about just taking it all out. Or about finding a surgical center that specializes in finding and neutralizing endometriosis…I’ve read that if just one tiny spot remains, it comes back, sort of like cancer. There are special treatment centers that I’ve found through my internet research, one in Atlanta and the other in California. Even if I were to get a hysterectomy, the doctor would need to go over my insides with a microscope to eradicate any remaining lesions.
This severe pain also makes me wonder if something terrible IS wrong with me. The rheumatologist told me that fibromyalgia makes my nerves over-react to things. Based on the pain I’ve had recently with massage, bra straps, light touches, etc., on my back, I know that to be true. So maybe it’s overreacting to normal cramps. I don’t know. But I want it to stop!
And that brings me back to Jesus. I am that woman who reached out and touched his robe. I am finding it hard to live in a productive way…to keep up with my homeschooling duties, my wifely duties, my director duties, when I lose at least a week out of every month.
I seek healing and wholeness from the True Physician. He heals ALL diseases. No matter what it is that is causing my pain, He can make it go away.
So why hasn’t he yet?
I don’t know. But I hold onto the word YET. Because I know He loves me. I know He died for me. And I know He has victory over this pain. Perhaps he allowed me to go through this dreadful weekend so that I will be more likely to face my fear of surgery and go through with it. May He give me the grace and the faith I need to get through until my healing comes.