Our family has the unique privilege to trust God in our bodies for another disease: MS. Both my husband and my aunt have been given this unknown diagnosis. Both undeserving by our standards – and yet God has deemed them worthy to carry his name through the valley of multiple sclerosis. MS is an auto immune disease, which means their immune system which is supposed to fight infections and things has turned against them and is attacking the neurons or nerves in their brain instead. Because everyone’s immune system is different the way the disease presents is just as various. There is no cure. No one knows why one person gets it and another doesn’t. There are a million drugs to try and treat it but don’t help everyone. There are a million and one theories to try and explain how it is due to environment and diet and may or may not be genetics or geography. At the end of the day though… we are people. Today is all we really have. And today’s choices. I got to visit with my aunt recently (Ill share about my husband another time) and am consistently blown away by how she chooses peace. She views her body as her tent and claims this truth:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
These words are not just to make her feel better either. They are her food that sustains her. When her eyes are refusing to focus and her limbs become cumbersome and tangled. It just makes me realize that God does not view life as we do. We get so caught up in achievements and dreams and fears and things. We would do well to sit back and think for a moment what we have inside of us when all those things are stripped away. Our schedules, our hobbies, our independence…
I cannot answer for my aunt… but to watch her… I see joy in her. I see hope and strength. I see humanity, and humility. You see, my aunt still holds the record at our local high school for various track and field events. From what I remember, she was always outside. Playing basketball, tennis, riding her bike, washing her car, walking the dog, playing music, or teaching one of us how to do those things. She was and is one of the most unselfish people I have ever met. I honestly don’t know all the reasons why she has been given this lot. I will say though, that she encourages me to sing louder during the part of the song that proclaims that God is mighty to save. Maybe some people think we should be mad at God. Couldn’t he heal her? Yes, he could. I pray that he will. Every day I pray. In the meantime, we will live. We will live in hope for the healer to lead my aunt by the hand and out of her wheelchair. I pray that it will be in this life that that happens. And that his name would be glorified by it. He gets to choose though.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.