I shifted uneasily as my radiation oncologist went over the procedure with me. In a short time, I would be starting the last phase of cancer treatment... radiation therapy or rads as I was learning to call it. Although my radiation treatments would be carefully controlled, it is still a very dangerous procedure.
Today, I would be going through a test run. They would have me lie on the table and get into position. A special pillow would be placed which would then be molded to the exact position of my arm. It was critical that only a certain area be exposed directly to radiation and having my body, including my arm in the exact same position each time was critical. The obvious region of course was because they wanted to radiate the area which had contained cancer. However, the other reason was they did not the rest of my body exposed to the radiation either!
Finally, I received three tattoos. This would help them line me up properly. This is so important that you are permanently marked so there is no risk of the markings being washed away.
Before leaving that day, I was instructed to purchase a product called Aquaphor. Even though it would be a few days before I would begin rads, I was to start protecting my skin against the harmful effects of radiation... now. Every few hours I had to thickly cover the area with Aquaphor. Because of the oily, greasy nature of this product, I was advised to give up any nice clothing for two months. Aquaphor would ruin them. I was glad I was at home in the summer and proceeded to collect all the clothing I considered expendable.
It takes a few weeks to notice the effects of radiation. All the while they kept telling me to not stop applying the Aquaphor. "Keep it up. Don't stop! We know that you see nothing but around day 14, you will see. It is there... you just can't see it yet." They were right.
There was a point when they thought they wouldn't be able to continue. The radiation burns did not look good but to everyone's relief, the Aquaphor was doing it's job. While the skin peeled horribly, underneath the surface it was fine and the nerves were safe. There was no pain. I'd taken my radiation oncologist's words very seriously and was faithfully doing as he instructed; even when I didn't see any evidence of radiation burns.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 5:8
We cannot afford to forget that we have an adversary. Far too often we forget/ignore this until we see evidence of spiritual trouble in our lives. The problem is, like my radiation treatments, it takes awhile for "trouble" to become visible and by the time it does... we are really in trouble. We need to be applying the oil of the Holy Spirit and God's Word to our lives daily so that when adversity comes, we will be "protected" against it. On the surface it may look bad but in reality, we will be under the protection of the Holy Spirit and not only will He keep us safe; He will actually transform something that can be deadly and destroy us into something life building. Awesome! That's what I call turning our darkness into light!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/494118044
K, this is an excellent lesson for us all. Hits home quite well.
I've just come into the revelation of what you are explaining in your blog, unfortunately mine came through experience of how sin invades our lives starting from some very good intentions and wanting what God wants...but being trapped in a situation which you can't escape. I am just now seeing how insidious sin has been in my life. I thought I was being loving...boy was I mistaken.
I became aware of this because I had been allowing certain things to go on in my home...hoping that if I just waited a little longer...things would sort themselves out...but no...it became a gigantic horrible mess, which couldn't be ignored...and my role or responsibility in allowing it could not be ignored. The results have uncovered something which should have been so blatantly obvious it was like an elephant in the room, but the way it all happened...I had so much love and prayer involved...but I finally started giving in (or worse, maybe even encouraging it) to some of the sin...and then it just got too big to ignore.
After this recent disaster which happened, I am only just becoming aware of how my persistent "little" sins are causing havoc in my life. I am becoming ware of the littler things...which are bringing me to defeat...and I see if I didn't stamp them out right away it would become a wildfire. Sin is like a virus...it invades and destroys...and affects/infects all those around...it can leave crippling effects...or even death. We must be aware and take action or it slowly kills our spiritual life...and anyone else who looks to us for guidance.
Above all it hurts our heavenly Father...which is grieving for us and our children the whole time we are messing around and playing with fire. I am tired of being such a unthoughtful child...it's time to look to His heart...and care for it...instead of our own.