Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV) ‘to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. ‘
A good friend of mine contacted me the other day. He was checking in on me to see how I was getting along after my transplant. I told him, “I’m doing great! I haven’t felt this good in a number of years.” He was happy to hear that and said, “I was genuinely worried about you the last time I left your place before you had your surgery”. I told him, “you know, I didn’t truly realize how bad I felt until I got to experience feeling really good again”. His response to that was striking. He said, “kinda how you feel when you surrender your life to Christ, huh”? Wow! How right is he?!
I left that conversation and spent a great deal of time contemplating those words. They resonated with me, profound truth. Like my life post transplant, so was my life post “re-birth”. I’ve thought about that many times in the past. I’ve wondered often, how was I ever able to manage life before I put Jesus at the center of it? I know this… I do not ever want to know how that feels again.
Another thought came to me, as well. As my kidneys progressively failed me, my body adapted. I was blessed with a resilient constitution, so I was able to manage, despite the failing kidneys, for quite some time. However, because the progression was slow enough, and my body able to compensate, I didn’t fully recognize just how far my over-all health had diminished. I thought about how that applies to our spiritual self, as well. Even after surrendering our life to Christ, and choosing a life in Him, we still struggle to stay on course, “backsliding” if you will. This is often times a gradual progression and, therefore, can be hard to discern. It often starts with one “small” sin, an omission perhaps. Maybe, we gradually get busy and stop making time to read scripture, or commune with God. We start progressively taking time away from small groups or bible study. Acts of service and goodwill starts to get further and farther between. We have lapses in behavior and are given over to anger, frustration, haste, lust etc. Eventually, some time has past and we find ourselves disconnected from God, our life looks and feels much different than it had not long ago, when we were focused on Christ, intentional and purposed. We realize we’re “sick” spiritually. But how could this be? How could I have not recognized it before now? Simple. It was progressive. We adapted. We didn’t realize. So, we seek help from the one and only source capable of providing it. Jesus. You return to Him. He heals you and makes you well once again. You realize that you had no idea how bad you truly felt, until you got to experience feeling really good again. Spiritually well. Have a blessed weekend!
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,