Friday, July 22, 2011

Routine Check-ups

     Some thoughts on my current health... both physical and spiritual.. hope it's encouraging.
     For those of you aren’t diabetic, you probably don’t even know what an A1C test is, so let me first provide a very brief explanation before I dive in. An A1C test reveals the average level of your blood glucose for the past three months. Healthy individuals tend to have an A1C that is below 6; at 6, you may be cautioned  that you are pre-diabetic; at 6.5, you are classified as diabetic.
     On May 13, when I was officially diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, tests showed that my A1C was at an incredible 13.4… indicating that my average blood glucose for the prior three months was around 350 mg/dL! (Remember, healthy blood sugars range from 70-110 mg/dL.) And that was my average, which may have included some time before I was actually diabetic. My fasting blood sugar was in the 300’s at diagnosis, and I went to the ER that night due to a blood sugar in the 600’s. Honestly, with blood sugars that high, I should have been feeling nauseous and faint. In fact, it’s a miracle I never passed out or went into diabetic shock (a coma). I’m so thankful for God’s protection, especially considering that I had been living completely on my own in an unknown area right up until I was diagnosed!
     Anyway… that was then. Three weeks ago, my A1C was retested, and just 7 weeks after being diagnosed, it had come down to 8.4. Woohoo! Big progress! Obviously still not optimal, but you have to remember that this test was still including some of the incredibly high numbers in the weeks before my diagnosis. In talking with my doctor this week and examining my latest BG numbers, he said that my average BG is currently closer to 111. If I continue to maintain these numbers, my next A1C in 8 weeks should be somewhere around 6!!! (For a diabetic, 6-7 is GREAT.)
     Now, allow me to make a little jump here. Perhaps you’re not diabetic and thus unconcerned about A1C’s.. but what is your spiritual A1C??? Granted, this is not a perfect analogy, but bear with me. My mind thinks in terms of all things food, numbers, and health these days! We’ve been studying Hebrews in church this summer, and I’ve been really challenged to reevaluate my faith. A couple of weeks ago we took a break and looked at 1 Corinthians 11: 23-32, which provides instructions for the Lord’s supper. But more than instructions, it is a call to believers to examine, examine, examine our hearts. Pastor Jim made the statement, “You come to the table (of the Lord’s supper) unworthily when you no longer have the vision of the righteousness and holiness of God before your eyes.” That hit me hard. The last few months, my time has been consumed with figuring out how to eat differently and manage my diabetes. At the same time, I was also fighting to survive several challenging online accounting courses. Frankly, I’ve been in “survival mode” all summer, and in the busy-ness of it all, I’ve lost “the vision of the righteousness and holiness of God”. Now, I’ve cried plenty of tears this summer over things “lost”, such as freedom to eat whatever I desired, freedom from excessive meds, etc. But that day, as I sat in church, I cried over the greatest loss of all… my loss of wonder, passion, and trust in God. While I could see how God was working through the situation, I somehow still ceased to truly depend upon God for daily strength. My “Spiritual A1C”, as it were, revealed alarmingly dangerous levels of self-dependence. We’ve been instructed to live “in, but not of” the world; but instead of allowing my soul to be saturated with the Scriptures, the things of this world are making me spiritually sluggish. The Bible is the nourishment that my soul needs, and without it, my spiritual health starves.
     The solution is simple: make a daily plea to God to reawaken my soul to the joy and satisfaction of His gospel (because I can’t force that according to my own will). Hebrews 6:1-3 makes it clear that we must actively “go on to maturity”, although ultimately it is only if “God permits”. And we must never allow ourselves to think that we’ve arrived spiritually. Philippians 3:12 says, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” We press on because of Christ.
     My challenge to you is to step back with me and take a close look at your heart. Consider what things fill your day and consume your time. Are those things pushing you closer to God, or away? Just like my physical A1C, a “spiritual” A1C also requires consistent work and maintenance to remain healthy. Flee apathy, and join me as I seek to improve the health of my soul, which is the only thing that is truly lasting!


  1. This is exactly what I've been learning and struggling with all summer- especially recently. There's a reason my blog is called "Living on Daily Grace". Not because I'm a good Christian who recognizes his grace daily as I should but because I fail everyday at putting Him first in my heart and he continually lavishes His grace on me. Thanks for the reminder and the verses. Love ya

  2. Thanks for posting these thoughts! It was a great reminder of how important it is to keep our spiritual life in daily check. I honestly have been struggling with the same things recently and remembering to rely on Him to get me through the hard times. It's funny how the three of us seem to be going through the same things this summer in regards to our relationship with Christ. It will be fun to live together in the Spring and encourage each other in our walk!