Yesterday, our Father gave us a vital insight concerning my autoimmune disease of mastocytosis. It’s an important message we just weren’t getting. It’s like when our kitties, William a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Catherine a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine of Matheson, try for hours for us to understand what they are wanting. They get more and more frustrated with us. They’ll go back and forth, give us head bonks, meow constantly, but whatever they do we aren’t getting the message. They mutter to themselves silently as William looks at Catherine and Catherine looks at William, “Stoopie Hoomans!”
We had been trying to figure out why I have been showing so many symptoms of mastocytosis. The answer came. Well, it was there all along. We didn’t see the answer staring us in the face. I have been fighting a sinus infection that unlike other times in several years is in both nostrils, not one.
You can be dealing with so many brush fires in your life. You fail to notice our Lord saying, “I’m trying to show you something. Excuse me. Hello. Hello! You need to pay attention! When this happens it means this is going to occur. If you take action early dealing with this problem the chances of it getting worse are much less.” God was desperately trying to get our attention. When I experience mastocytosis symptoms such as itching, swelling or I’m moody, just not myself, it means my body is going to be sick with either a sinus infection, flu bug or respiratory infection.
God loves us, but I’m sure there are times He gets frustrated with us when we think we know the answer. We are stubborn. We think we can get along without Him. We can be stoopie hoomans. We can so easily forget He is the God who knows us. He is the God who sees us. He is the God who hears us. In those trying times when you just aren’t understanding what God is trying to say to you, here is a prayer you can offer to your Lord. This is a prayer to stimulate your thinking of what you could pray. We don’t need any fancy eloquence when we come to God and pray. Simple words spoken from your heart are all that is needed. This is my prayer to our Father.
Lord, give us eyes to see what we fail to see for ourselves. Give us the vision to understand the insights You give us. Teach us how we can act on what You show us, so we will in faith cling to You, and know without any doubt that You will lead us through whatever problem we are facing. You will give us discernment of how to go from being lost to being found. You will help us go from hopelessness to hope, from crying to rejoicing, from not trusting to fully trusting in You.
Father, please forgive us when we don’t understand how You are speaking to us. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see, who think they know all the answers, who are too full of pride to ask for help. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear You, know You, to feel You in every heartbeat, in every breath we breathe. Amen.
Now, I can go to my doctor and say, “We have an important tool in dealing more effectively with my mastocytosis. When I’m showing symptoms it means an infection of some kind will be occurring. It’s one of those V8 vegetable juice moments when you knock your forehead with your fist exclaiming, ‘I could have had a V8!’”
Many of us are familiar with the story of Saul before he became the apostle Paul. God tried and tried, but couldn’t get his attention. He was going about as one well-trained in the law rounding up these rabble-rousers called Christians. He felt it was his mission in life. He showed no mercy. He had these troublemakers who professed belief in Christ as their personal Lord and savior arrested, imprisoned, and either fed to the lions or crucified. He really didn’t care what happened to them. God must have thought, “This guy is just not getting it. I’ll have to do something dramatic to get his attention.” He decided that He would take Saul’s eyesight away for three days. He didn’t have anything to eat or drink (Acts 9:9). It is suggested by Biblical scholars that Saul was fasting as a way of repenting for his sins. He had a lot to confess. He had harmed and been responsible for the murders of many Christians.
Saul was so disgusted by Christians that in Acts 1:1 we are told that “he breathed threats and murder..” That’s a heck of a lot of hate. A light from Heaven blinded Saul. He was knocked to the ground as he was on his way to Damascus with letters from the high priest to the synagogues in Damascus to have Christians arrested, and brought to Jerusalem for punishment.
Saul heard Christ saying. “…Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4, NASB). Saul asked for forgiveness. “Something like scales fell from his eyes. He could see. He got up and was baptized (Acts 9:18). Finally, Saul understood why Christ challenged his behavior. It’s one of the many times Jesus used cognitive behavioral therapy. This is when you challenge the conduct of your client. When the individual, for example, decides to get drunk, the person is confronted about their drinking. Your client was given probation conditions after an assault not to take any alcohol. The reason for this inappropriate behavior needs to be addressed if your client is to gain any insight into their actions, and how they affect the individual’s life, their family, and in all of their relationships. If your client shows up drunk at their job it could get your client fired. Your client must understand there is a price to be paid for their actions. If the person you are counseling fails to grasp this important fact their behavior will only get worse. The quality of their life and that of their family will go downhill until your client’s life is in a shambles. Christ loves your client so much that He doesn’t want terrible thing to happen to happen to that person. We see though, from how Jesus dealt with Saul, that He will allow awful things to happen to those who don’t regret their actions and change their behavior.
Christ had to use the direct approach with Saul asking him the question, “Why?” In other words, Jesus was saying to Saul, “Explain your behavior to me. Tell me what is motivating you to act the way you are towards My children. ” Christ wanted Saul to see there are consequences for his actions. He was responsible for the imprisonment and death of many Christians. He needed to take ownership of that fact, and repent, which he did. The persecutor of Christians had been transformed into a proclaimer of the gospel. How’s that for a complete 360-degree turn?
Sometimes, God’s nudge or the slugging power of a baseball or a two by four hitting our head doesn’t get our attention. Sometimes, God needs to use the equivalent of a lightning bolt, like He did with Saul.
When God speaks and is trying to show you how to avoid a problem from getting worse, please listen. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain and misery. I could have prevented a lot of suffering from my sinus infection if I had taken the time to listen how God was trying so show me the early warning signs of it. Because I didn’t get the message I’ll have to go on an antibiotic to get rid of my sinus infection. This is no small thing for those who have experienced a sinus infection. For those with mastocytosis having another illness only magnifies the condition much further. This means it will take much longer to stabilize. In fact, it won’t until the other illness is over.
William and Catherine are meowing non-stop in a high-pitched voice of protest, “Kitty daddeh, open the office door and lets us outside. We wants outside!” I open the office door. I go to our front door. I let them escape the confines of our home. They sniff all the many exciting smells with their nostrils. They shake off the snow from their paws. They scurry back inside. I got the message to let them go outside. They got the message to come back in. Hmmm. But God had to use the snow to do it. I guess that’s like being hit by a two by four, or that blinding light Saul experienced. Our pets can be stoopie. Kitty daddeh can be stoopie too.
Well, isn’t it a wonderful thing that God loves us anyway?
Dr. Kevin James Osborne, Psy D., D.Sc., D.D., is the Vice-President of Institutional and Mission Advancement for St. James the Elder University. He was recently named to the office of Chaplain by Most Reverend Heyward B. Ewart Ph.D., Psy.D., D.D., who is the Head of Holy Catholic Church International. He feels God is leading him to graduate study in theology and counseling. Karen plans to take graduate studies in psychology and theology. Our journey is all about being servants of Christ’s love wherever God leads us. Our mission field is wherever God puts us for His glory. We are missionaries of the heart.