By Kara Ranck
As I gaze outside my door, I witness spring going about its annual rituals. A glance outside, tells me all is well with the world as birds fly, flowers grow, grass greens, and the glorious sun shines upon it all. Yet, a glance at my calendar tells me our rituals and routines are anything but normal. Unlike my open house door, the church doors, school doors, store doors, restaurant doors, entertainment doors, and other people’s house doors remain closed. And for good reason. There is a virus spreading, infecting, weakening, and sometimes taking lives. Even if the virus doesn’t take up residence in us, it still touches our lives psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We are all affected.
Though I am not a true introvert or extrovert, I fall out of balance if my scale tips to the extreme of always at home or always away. I like to maintain a routine somewhere in between—a little at home mixed with a little time away. Right now my scale is out of balance, and I’m guessing yours is too. But being at home has made me come to realize that many times going away is a tactic I use to distract myself. As my good friend said about being at home, “I am constantly bumping up against my own sinfulness and selfishness.” And isn’t she right? Isn’t that the real issue? When I can’t get away, I can’t distract myself from my sin and self. It surrounds me like the four walls of my home and makes me claustrophobic.
At home, I see the symptoms I can usually hide or ignore when I’m in public. I am easily impatient and frustrated with my child when they pile Legos in the doorway for the umpteenth time. Or angry because they messed up my routine—again. Anxious because all my people are yelling for help from me at once. Fearful because my child makes unsafe choices. Angry again because I need to stop what I am doing to discipline for the same thing I’ve given a time-out for three times today.
The thing is when our calendars are full we overlook or stuff down the symptoms of a disease we are all infected with. This pathogen is more prevalent than any other for it infects us all, and its mortality rate is extremely high. And like Covid-19, it affects us even if it doesn’t claim our lives. We all have the “genetic mutation” of sin. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God their creator in the garden, sin entered our bodies and our world (Genesis 2-3). We spread the disease to every offspring from then until the last day. It affects every aspect of our lives and weakens our minds, souls, and bodies. We always carry symptoms of this illness, although we learn to mask them as we mature. This pathogen leads to slow, painful death (Romans 6:23).
But there is hope. Like a vaccine that builds antibodies and protects our bodies from the virus, we gain a defense against sin when Jesus, the sinless son of God, enters our lives. In Mark 2:17, “Jesus told them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’.” He took our sickness upon himself and destroyed the power of the pathogen (Isaiah 53:4-5). Its presence still affects our lives, but it no longer has power over us. In the moments where sin’s symptoms are unmasked, we can turn to our Rescuer and claim his word which is living and active to fight against that persistent disease (Hebrews 4:12). Over time, our healing takes place. Slowly but ever so surely. And one day, our body will be free from the virus and the harm it’s caused forever (Revelation 21:1-5)!
Friend, this long stay at home will reveal the symptoms of sin we’ve been hiding. When it does, run to the one with the cure. Ignoring our symptoms will lead to death. Take hold of the hope in front of you.
Popular posts from this blog
By Lauren Sweigart There are a handful of moments in life that will be forever imprinted in your memory. They are life altering moments—whether the occasion is a time of celebration or tragedy. These moments are so vivid that in an instant you are back in time feeling the exact emotions, seeing every detail in the foreground, and reliving every second as if for the first time. It could be just a few seconds or a long season in life, but one thing is for sure, those moments define you. How you accept or react to these joyous or sad occasions mold you into the person you are today. They are the character that is etched into your personality, the wisdom behind your kind eyes, and the true soul within your heart. I was 25 years old and married to my high-school sweetheart for two years. We were pregnant with our first child, a boy. I was ironically (which now I believe nothing is ironic but all are in the hands and timing of God) pregnant along with my sister/best friend having
By Danielle Munoz PC: Unsplash I rested in the glow of the Christmas tree with my newborn son, my heart close to bursting. A week ago he arrived, adding even more delight to the Advent season. Yet even in that joy I couldn’t shake the growing unease over my daughter. As my baby boy strongly kicked and cooed, she appeared to be slowly deteriorating before my eyes. First, a bloody nose. Random bleeding gums. Then bruises—one, two, three, and several more popping up in unusual places. These can’t be from her usual clumsiness, can they? Despite these warning signs, she remained the ever-bubbly, bright, outgoing toddler, quieting my doubts. But at one point, as I spotted another concerning bruise, a word rushed into my mind seemingly out of nowhere— leukemia. I knew next to nothing about its symptoms, but God in his grace was preparing me. Days later, when the church nursery said she uncharacteristically laid down too tired to play and a low fever creeped up,
By Kara Ranck, RN, BSN There is nothing like getting a wake-up call at 3:30 am and hearing your mom’s panicked voice saying, “Kara needs to come. Dad is in cardiac arrest and is not responding.” That type of call is enough to stop anyone’s heartbeat. My nerves are tingling even now as I type this eight months later. That was the unforgettable call my husband Trevor and I received on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. I have never moved so quickly after waking up. As I dressed, Trevor prayed and said he would take care of the kids. All I remember about the drive to my parents’ house is crying out to God. “God, be with my dad. God, save my dad. God, you love my dad more than I do,” I prayed over and over again. Because, you see, I believe in God. I believe in a God who can heal people when science and statistics say no. I believe that God loves my Dad so much He died on a cross for him and that if my dad died that morning, he would be safe in heaven because he trusts Jesus as his Savio