I know that an MS update is long overdue, and have wanted to share with you the latest of my journey. Get ready for an all-too-candid post! I am only three months into this thing, and it is still surreal for me. I still keep thinking this will pass like a cold. When I was at Vous Conference in Miami in July, and my brother-in-law Rich had everyone pray for me, I really felt a significant a change take place. The discouragement of the diagnosis lifted, my faith was profoundly strengthened, and my symptoms even improved. For a while there, I was feeling so much better that I would momentarily forget that I had MS. I would even think, “Well, that wasn’t so bad!” In these last few weeks, however, it’s gotten a little more ‘real.’ I am not the same. By body is different and annoying. About once or twice a day I hit a wall with a vengeance and get a fever and feel awful. I also have the weirdest sensations in my legs and feet, and my muscles have a mind of their own. Where running three miles was once a typical workout for me, now walking fifteen minutes can be a struggle. It is all so unpredictable, too. Some days I can go like a champ, then others I feel so feeble. Also, MS can make it hard to concentrate at times. This makes all of my papers, blog posts, and message preparations take a little longer. Okay, a lot longer. It is starting to sink in that until God miraculously heals me, this thing isn’t going anywhere.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I’m still believing for my healing. Not feeling cut out for prolonged sickness, I have had some existential contemplations which have led me to this most basic and life-defining anthem: TO LIVE IS CHRIST.
Philippians 1:20,21,25 says this:
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, to live is Christ. … Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.
In life, we all face opportunities to die off in some way, to let our lamps burn out, and give up on our dreams. Sometimes it’s easier not to hope, not to press forward, and not to live with passion. Life gets messy. Problems get in the way, and we find ourselves questioning everything. Then, once again, the Word of God breathes life into the human soul. As Paul sits in a prison cell, he writes the words of this passage. TO LIVE IS CHRIST. The trials of life can condense us down to the core purpose of our existence. They can rein us in, concentrate life’s meaning, clear the clutter and renew our focus. I am so thankful that God has given me this amazing purpose to live for: Jesus Christ. I will not die off, give up, or hide out. My life may never look the same again, but I am more clear than ever on why I am here. For that, I am thankful. To live is Christ! He is the beginning and the end, and everything in between. When I have a weary moment, these words restore me to a posture of faith, and even zeal.
Whatever it is that you may be facing right now, my prayer is that you are encouraged in knowing that Jesus is your purpose! You, too, will live and not die. You will not be ashamed, but will be all the more emboldened for Christ because of what you are walking through. He will turn your trial into a testimony that will be a source of life to many. This is because for you, TO LIVE IS CHRIST.