About 7-8 years ago I was in really bad shape.The hardest part of my battle with Cystic Fibrosis started around then. Sure, I was sick a few times before, coughing up blood and minor lung infections, but nothing like the year of 2002-2003. That year I was in hospital, if I recall correctly, 10-12 times, for 4-7 days at a time. I was peaking 102+ degree fevers, shivering with chills constantly, loosing my appetite and weight, achy all over, severe night sweats and practically drowning in the mucus and blood from my lungs. The only physical comfort to my suffering was bottles of ibuprofen and hot showers. I took a lot of hot, steamy showers. That is when the damage to my lungs really started. Many nights I would wake up in the middle of the night and be absolutely miserable, soaked to the bone with mental anguish spiritual frustrations. I had so many fears that kept coming up in my heart; I'm going to die young, my wife is going to be a young widow, I won't have kids, and the list can go on and on. I couldn't figure out in my head if God loved me because all this suffering felt like torture and punishment. I prayed for healing more times than I can count and I only got worse. I was so scared and WITHOUT PURPOSE to my life.
One night at 3am, or so, I woke up swimming in sweat and got out of bed. I don't know how Angela stayed dry those nights but she did, amazingly. In those occurrences I would find myself putting on some dry clothes and slipping off to the spare bedroom to try to go back to sleep. However, that particular night I couldn't sleep. I was stricken with fear and anger toward God, again. I decided to go out for a late night drive and pray, if possible. With tears in my eyes and my heart sunk down to the souls of my feet I stumbled my way to the garage and plopped in the seat of the SUV.
I vividly remember that night. We lived in the country and there were back roads going out to fields in every direction. I liked to call it "big sky country". There were no hills, mountains and very few groves of trees. You had a visibility of miles and miles of blue yander in every direction on clear days. That night I remembered a high point in the country that would give me the view of the stars and moon dancing in the sky. I got out there and opened my heart up to Lord. I'd like to tell you that I humbly accepted my situation and received a peace of God that passes all understanding, but it didn't quite go down like that. I told Him that He needed to kill me because I couldn't handle this torture and I thought it would be best that way for everyone, especially Angela.
What was happening was the preasure of my suffering was pushing the sin to the surface of my life. I was being selfish, faithless and a coward all in one instant. I was't relying on the Lord for strength and wasn't remembering his promises. I was mad that he wasn't giving me what I thought I deserved. Not really realizing that what I deserved was to die along time before that day for my sins. Oh, how patient is our GOD!!!! One great thing about suffering is that it humbles you and slows down everything in your life.
I had many questions during that time. One question that always comes to my mind was, "Why, God, do I have this disease? Is it because of my sin? or my parents?" I knew one thing in life and that was I knew how to sin and do it well, if there is such a thing as sinning good. Often, when you suffer you equivocate it to possible punishment and judgment from God for your sins. Believe it our not the Bible says to Christians that we need to consider all hardship as disciple from the Lord. To attribute my suffering to my sins wouldn't be completely off base. Even logically we see sickness come on people who misuse there bodies with drugs, alcohol, sex, cigarettes, food and ect...... I thought maybe I did some bad things with my body to cause this to come on me.I also thought that maybe it was my parents sin because I was conceived before they got married. I wasn't looking to dishonor them. I was just looking for answers. I started searching the scriptures instead of my imagination, because I knew that God speaks to His people through the truth in it and my imagination was futile and morbid.
All these questions I had of God, but no answer was coming. I remember waking up one Monday morning and got ready for work. My heart was heavy again and I began to pray about it. Same questions-different day. I decided that I needed to fast (abstain from food) and pray about it; "God, why do I have this disease?" On third day into the fast I was reading the Bible and praying. It was a Wednesday morning and I remember reading the Gospel of John, Chapter 9. Something was happening in my heart and the scriptures seemed clearer that day than others. I started reading verse 1; "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." Did you read that?!?!? The Holy Spirit, who teaches his children all truth, gave me unexplainable peace in my mind and heart at that very moment. I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, just as this man was born blind, so that the works of God might be displayed in my life!!! I spent days and weeks meditating on that and sharing it with everyone I knew. It is a valuable pearl to me that has a price tag on it that says "Priceless"!!That verse comes back to me over and over again in meditation, reminding me that there are works of God being displayed in my life. I was born with a platform under my feet!!!
The fact that you are reading this blog about how God ministering to me is a work of God being displayed in my life as I witness of His Son and His Glory to you- that your faith may be increase. God made me with a purpose. YOU HAVE PURPOSE. After that moment I count it a privilege (On most days. Remember I'm human with a sin nature.) to have this disease, as crazy as that might sound. You and others are seeing God work in this whole mess. The man born blind got an opportunity to tell his friends, family and the religious leaders of the day about his encounter with- Jesus. He was healed and Saved because he believed in the Lord Jesus. He was given a platform to make a difference. His platform all started with being born blind. Hopefully, as I submit to the will of God, His will be served. He is my Hope!!God Bless.-David
Lung Transplant Story; Part 2 will be coming soon.