Tag Archives: new man

The Flesh is Perverse

Our human body is a marvel, to be sure, but it’s also perverse, given to auto immune disorders wherein it attacks itself with its own antibodies intended to defend against outside invaders — like Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, CREST syndrome….

Or, an even better example, cancer, where some region of cells will suddenly start growing all out-of-bounds and out of whack, distorting the organ or tissue where they begin until it can no longer function properly.

Recently an even more egregious aspect of this perversity has emerged in the results reported in a newly released study on the effectiveness of chemotherapy. You probably know that there are various kinds of chemo drugs — powerful toxins — developed and administered to cancer patients with the intent that these toxins will target the cancer cells and kill them. And so they do.

The first time around.

But often after the first round has been successful and the cancer has been eradicated, at some point it will return in the same or a new location. In the case of my mother, the first cancer cells developed in her breast. Surgery, chemo and radiation treatments resulted in her being pronounced “cancer free” some eight months after the cancer was first discovered. But only six months later, it returned, this time in her thigh bone.

This is so common an occurance that at a routine post-cancer visit, the minute she mentioned having pain there — after we’d spent three months going to various other doctors for answers — her oncologist sat up straight and took strong notice. He ordered an immediate CAT scan and sure enough, the cancer was back.

Scientists have long sought to understand why, especially since cancer cells outside the body are so easily killed. Apparently they have finally discovered some answers.

Turns out that while the initial round of toxins are killing the tumors, they are also affecting the healthy cells that surround the tumor, changing their DNA, and provoking them into eventually releasing “a protein that sustains tumour growth and resistance to further treatment.” This protein, called WNT16B, “interacts with nearby tumor cells, [causing] them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy.”

“‘The increase in WNT16B was completely unexpected,” study co-author Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told AFP.”

Indeed, who would expect our own bodies, already killing themselves with the mad growth of cancer cells, to use the intended cure to actually help the mutated cells survive and prosper? Typical of the flesh, though, and the way so many of us, when in its grip, attack our own lives, tormenting ourselves with self-debilitating thoughts, or self-destructive behaviors.

I do not believe this is coincidence, but rather a vivid illustration of the death and perversity that lives in our bodies — the outer man, which is decaying even now — and yet another reason to give thanks for the new life we have received through faith in Christ, that inner man which has the potential of being renewed day by day, regardless of what’s happening to our flesh.

Living in Who I Am

I really should try to get my blog posts done in the morning. I had several ideas — and the words — before lunch time, but other things to do. The afternoon was spent at the oral surgeon’s (my mother’s surgery/extraction is set for Wednesday morning), helping my mother with her rehab exercises and then walking Quigley. Then there was dinner and coming up with an estimate of next year’s medical expenditures (and here I’ve been writing about the fallacy of trying to predict things; admittedly just estimating the costs of the same things I’ll use next year that I used this year isn’t really “predicting”) and now I feel mentally incapable of doing much more than setting down this list of activities.

One thing I have been doing though, is contemplating the central point of recent lessons, ie, who I am in Christ. What He’s made me to be. Righteous. Royal. An Ambassador. In union with the creator of the universe.  Perhaps I’ve already blogged about this, but can it be repeated too often? Part of that contemplation extends to my tendency to live my list of things to do.  I know I’ve mentioned that before — where my thinking becomes consumed with the list of activities I have to do, and no matter what I’m doing, I’m thinking about how I have to hurry and get done so I can do the next thing. All the while intimidating myself with warnings of the — usually unspecified — disasters that will befall me should I fail to get everything done.

Well, that’s all guilt and fear and bondage, when that’s not at all why Jesus died for me. Not to live like that, but to live in freedom. I’m already perfect in His sight. Nothing I do will change that. It won’t make me better, it won’t make me worse. So… what difference does it make what I get done today? Really. What difference? If I do absolutely nothing He’ll still conform me to the image of His son.

So I’ve been stopping myself from the list thing, and turning my focus onto who I am, as I said. Instead of the dreaded list, my tasks have changed into activities the Lord has selected for me to do for His glory and also for my benefit. And often for my pleasure, if I’ll just slow down and realize it.

As I’ve said before, the important thing isn’t to get things done, it’s to live for my Lord and Savior. To stay in fellowship, to live in the peace that Christ died for me to have. Everything the Lord leads me to do has purpose. And all the worries about the things that didn’t get done, can be laid right back on Him. And He has promised to provide everything I need.

“Sing praises to our God on the lyre, who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives the beast his food… He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of man (running about doing stuff). The Lord favors those who respect Him, those who wait for his lovingkindness (grace) ”  ~Psalm 147:7-11