This post is painful, because I feel the need to confess. I am a diabetic.
I hate that term.
Now you probably are thinking, "We already knew that you are a diabetic. What's the confession?" Well, that's it. I am a lousy, stinking, no-carbs allowed diabetic. And I fail constantly at trying to control my blood.
See, I went to the doctor yesterday to check my A1C....for those who don't know what that is, it's sort of an average of your blood sugar levels over the last few months. While I knew I'd been "cheating" for a while, I really did "feel" like my numbers would be improving. I was wrong. My numbers went up. (Wonder if it had anything to do with the three, make that four, pieces of fudge I'd had after lunch? Actually, it wasn't just the candy I'd had after lunch THAT day, but the candy I'd probably indulged in a lot of days.) I discovered my "feelings" lie.
See, I am a diabetic. Sugar has a really bad effect on me. I really can't eat carbs, well, not like everyone else. Because I am a diabetic. I can pretend I'm not. I can feel like it won't have an effect on me. I can make excuses (like I've been good all day so I DESERVE to splurge on an ice cream cone this afternoon, which of course leads to an ice cream cone the next day and the next and the next...well, you get the picture. I have almost NO willpower when it comes to Ward's ice cream cones.)
But the fact remains, I am a diabetic and sugar DOES have an effect on me. I can do a lot of things to help myself, like take my medicine and use things that help me keep my cravings under control, but if I then go ahead and eat things I know I shouldn't...well, I guess my A1C answers what happens when I do that.
Being a diabetic is a little like being a sinner. The problem is in my blood. I can try to pretend it's not and that I am fine, but my blood tells the story every time....and eventually my body shows what my blood has already known for a while. Sugar, like sin, may seem innocent, but it will kill me...slowly, secretly, but surely.
I'm not making light of sin by comparing it to diabetes, just trying to make a word picture here. Just like with that extra piece of candy, or that ice cream cone, I try to convince myself that just this once won't hurt. The problem is it is never just one. Once I get the "taste" for that forbidden fruit, I only want more, and more, and more. And all the while, it is killing me.
I am a sinner, saved by the pure blood of the only One who never sinned - Jesus. I can try to convince myself that the little "sins" somehow won't hurt me, but my blood is tainted. It will never be right, no matter how much I try to pretend that it is. Sin, no matter how innocent it might seem to us, kills. It's like those hidden carbs that do a number on me. Mix the "sugar" into the meal any way you want, the effect is pretty much the same. Death.
So there you have it. I am a diabetic. I am a sinner. For the diabetes, I take medicine but I also HAVE to watch what I eat. There is no cure. For the sinner part - well thankfully for that I have a Savior, Jesus. Jesus is more than a medicine, He is the cure.
Unfortunately, I can still choose to sin which still kills all that Christ has died for in me. It can kill my joy and peace, my testimony, and yes, it can even kill this body. I can't tell myself, "Well, I'm saved, so I'm good." That's like taking my insulin and then eating three, make that four, pieces of fudge and expecting it to have no effect in my body.
I am reminded of something my Nurse Practitioner told me when she first diagnosed me. She said that learning to eat right would be tough, but once I did I'd be amazed at how good I felt. She was right. When I did "right" I was amazed at just how alive and full of energy I felt - I had felt bad for so long, I'd forgotten what it was like to feel good. Sugar, and sin, does that to you. It's sneaky, but it steals your life from you a little at a time.
The good news is, while my insulin is a temporary fix and sometimes "fails" me, Jesus never fails. He is not a temporary "fix", He is the cure. I confess....I need Jesus. We all do.