I have multiple hidden illnesses, most of which cause chronic pain and am judged by many to be perfectly healthy because all they see is a smiling face and me getting on with my life. They don’t see the daily ritual of drugs that keep me able to continue on my feet at times, although thankfully I’m much better at the moment than I have been other years. But I find the assumption that because I look well, I must be well, highly frustrating.
However, a more serious issue is at stake for me and countless others who have any medical diagnosis, or in one case, (not me!) pregnancy. One of my diagnoses is fibromyalgia – a chronic rheumatic pain syndrome with varying and sometimes multiple symptoms, and quite often when I develop some new symptom whether pain, nausea, visual disturbance, skin rash, or bowel problems – invariably one or more of my docs will happily state “It’s just your fibromyalgia” and leave it at that. I’ve learnt over the past 15 years to never accept that statement until I’m content that it is indeed “just my fibro”! So now, if I have some symptom that I feel isn’t down to my fibro, I will push my GP to investigate it further, or even to refer me on to a Consultant for more in-depth testing. I’m ‘fortunate’ perhaps in having other more complex and potentially more serious conditions alongside it so my GP will tend to err on the side of caution and comply with my request. Sometimes I’m right in my concern, other times wrong, but the Consultants usually tell me I was right to get the symptom checked out given my history.
Sadly, though what I hear happening more often is that doctors make grave errors in assuming that whatever symptom someone presents with is firstly attributable to some already established diagnosis or health state, with sometimes dire outcomes. One notable case that instigated my thoughts on this post, was of a young 30 something mum to be who took quite ill in the middle of her pregnancy with vomiting and diarrhea etc. She was investigated by 3 or 4 doctors all of whom assumed her problems were just “severe morning sickness” and treated her with little more than fluid replacement for weeks. By the time one new doctor finally figured out it was more serious and tests confirmed she had severe Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory condition of the bowel) it was too late, and despite intensive treatment, she and her baby died from complications of the disease. This was an utterly unnecesary death in many ways, and just spoke volumes to me of the dangers of assumption. And I’m sure any of you reading this would equally have at least 1 horror story in your own experience of something similar.
Now it’s bad enough to lose your life because of the assumptions of others, but if you buy into much of the “social” Christianity around today, you could lose your eternal life through assumptions of your own being wrong. Too many people nowadays think all they have to do is live a “good life” and they will be fine. When they die they think that, despite having never acknowledged God in their lives here, somehow he “owes” them something, and will let them spend eternity with Him in heaven as a reward. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let me just remind you, if you fall into that camp, or if you don’t perhaps already know what Jesus had to say about “good” people:
Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone.”
Would you dare to thus consider yourself better than Jesus himself in this regard??
Scripture is littered with instances where God declares that “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psa 14:3).
Heaven is not populated by “good” people, but rather saved sinners who have had the price paid for their sinful lives before a Just and Holy God. And if you think that’s unfair and you should be allowed in for any other reason, then I suggest you head off to the nearest Jail in your area and start petitioning to get all the prisoners released who shouldn’t be in there, because they too are no doubt “good” people, and should be allowed to live their lives like the rest of us! We are all guilty before God whether you accept the fact or not, and thus are condemned to death unless someone pays the “bond” for us – and indeed that is exactly what Jesus did with his sacrifice on the cross. You don’t have to understand the reasons why He did this for YOU – you just have to accept that He has and accept Him as your Saviour and then you will indeed be accepted into heaven.
Once again, I have to come back to an earlier post I made in respect of just how awesome our God truly is, and point out just how arrogant we sadly are in His Presence. We continually expect and even demand that God listens to us, and more than that, gives us whatever we want, because He loves us, the thinking being that His love is like ours, or perhaps worse, that it’s so different as to bypass all the instinctive reactions we would have if someone made such demands on us. We think His standard of goodness is the same as our own, and don’t even realise that before Him we don’t even have the beginnings of goodness let alone anything more worthy in His eyes.
So be very careful when you make assumptions where God is concerned, and particularly where it involves your eternal future. You may think it’s no big deal and you can “worry about it then” – trust me, you can’t! You have one chance alone to heed His call on your life, and He could close that up for you in a nanosecond by removing your life from you and you would be lost eternally ever regretting not making that vital decision at the time you first thought about it (or while you’re reading this!). Don’t dare to assume you’re going to be granted another hour of life let alone another day, week, month or longer! Repent and receive Him NOW!