One simple test changed everything. My specialist walked in the room, sat in the big black chair with wheels, and slid toward me. When she put her hand on my knee I knew I was in trouble.
My doctor has turned into one of my dearest friends; she’s like a sister. Our appointments are filled with laughter and joy, even when treatments are rough. The serious look on her face told me something was wrong before she spoke those horrifying words.
“Josie, you have a parasite, and it’s a nasty one.”
Oh gross! Not a parasite, anything but a parasite!
“Okay…” I tentatively replied.
After much discussion and a few more tests we figured that I acquired a microscopic parasite from a camel I rode through the Sahara Dessert about 10 years ago. It lodged itself in my carotid artery in my neck and had been growing bigger every day. Somehow we ticked it off enough at my appointment that it broke loose and worked its way into my colon where it was eating on raw flesh.
I fought the battle of my life as we tried to kill this flesh eating parasitic monstrosity. My doctor wouldn’t let me go home until it was dead and out of me. My three day appointment turned into over two weeks as we did everything we could to kill it. We thought we had it once, but with three hearts it didn’t stay dead.
I was supposed to be violently ill, too ill to even walk. Yet God was good. He spared me from so much. Yes, there was pain and suffering, but it should have been so much worse. In fact, in some ways I felt better than I had in months. Many of you were praying for me and for that I can’t thank you enough.
Finally the beast (we named him Earl) died and came out of me. I’m now at home recovering from the trauma I’ve been through and starting to feel better.
“Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
Just like Earl the parasite was in me, so is Jesus. He’s IN ME. This is a hard concept to grasp, but it’s an incredible reality. God is in Jesus and Jesus is in us, so we’re never alone. The God of all creation lives inside of us.
If He lives inside of us, He knows exactly what we are feeling and how we are feeling. How can He help but feel our pain and our heartaches? Jesus is no stranger to suffering, He knows grief. Isaiah 53:3-5 tells us:
He was despised and rejected--
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!
But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed
If we didn’t kill Earl the parasite he would have gone on making my life miserable. For me to have any chance of living a healthy life here on earth, Earl had to die. For us to have eternal life, Jesus had to die. It was the only way. It was God’s perfect plan. Someone had to take the penalty for our sins. It should have been us, but we were spared and Jesus suffered in our place.
He died a horrible death so that we can live. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. He conquered the grave and He lives! Because He lives, we can live abundant lives, even in the midst of suffering. Even now Jesus is interceding with God on our behalf.
Do you believe? A relationship with God is as easy as believing in Him and what He has done for us. If you believe, you can take great comfort and joy knowing that Jesus lives in you and understands you as no one else possibly could. Thank you, Jesus!
“But because Jesus lives forever, His priesthood lasts forever.
Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him.
He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” ~ Hebrews 7:24-35