The most common question asked of me lately is, “How are you feeling?” With major surgery just around the corner, friends are concerned and praying for me. Of course, the most obvious question is to ask how I am.
And that is also the strangest part of this journey. I feel fine. A year ago I felt fine but a routine mammogram discovered a small tumor. Breast cancer. I went from feeling fine to surgery and radiation. There were days I didn’t feel fine as the doctors worked to eradicate the cancer from my body. To keep the cancer away I’ve been sentenced to taking a pill for five years which does not make me feel fine. Not at all. I’m working through those issues slowly.
In the process of all of the above, they found a tumor in the lung. No symptoms. I feel fine. (except for the above stated issues) My breathing is fine. No pain from the lungs. No shortness of breath. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Except that I have cancer in my lung.
And in a week I won’t be feeling fine, but, Lord willing, the cancer will be gone.
Isn’t this a picture of our spiritual lives as well? We think that we are fine. We are feeling great. But without regular examinations we may be missing sin that is growing within us. Perhaps an attitude of pride. Or a grudge against our neighbor. A twinge of envy taking root. An impure thought. A selfish motive. A twisting of biblical truth or acceptance of unscriptural beliefs.
Just like medical doctors know that we need to have regular checkups to keep our bodies healthy, Paul gave us the same admonition in II Corinthians 13:5 for our spiritual lives.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
You may think you are fine. But when was the last time you asked God to examine your heart, mind, and actions? When have you prayed like David in Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
I urge each of you to not only make sure you get annual physical examinations to stay physically healthy, but to also examine your heart. Go to the Great Physician and ask Him to show you where you need to change. Where you need to allow Him to cut out the sin deep inside you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if I feel fine, I am fine. Sin is like cancer with the potential to invade and spread to other areas of your life. It doesn’t remain dormant. Find it.
There is a cure.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Dealing with sin is never easy. It can be painful. It can be exhausting. But it will always be worth the struggle.
How are you feeling?
*I encourage you to read II Corinthians 13 and Psalm 139 for greater insight into the verses cited above.