“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
I have a cyst on my shoulder close to the collarbone for over two years. Two weeks ago, it got infected. It started to swell, and caused pain and discomfort. Sitting on it for a couple of days, I finally went to see a doctor who put me on an antibiotic but to no avail. This week I went to a general surgeon who was reluctant to drain it because it is still infected and put me on even stronger antibiotics. Still, the half-a-golf-ball sized cyst is still sitting on my shoulder, as if it’d explode any moment.
“A cyst is a closed, saclike structure that contains fluid, gas, or semisolid material and is not a normal part of the tissue where it is located.” Something, such as fluids, was clogged up and formed a closed sac in the first place. Over time, membrane upon membrane formed and wrapped around it and became a cyst. I am fully aware of this “alien” on my body. In fact, I eagerly hope for it to go away. However, I was reminded today that my sins are no different than the irritating cyst, only more malicious. At some point in time, a glimpse, a thought, or an act, was caught at a moment. It grew and kept on growing when I allowed it to, by glossing over it, by covering it up, and/or by simply ignoring it. Unlike the one I have on my shoulder, I seldom pay attention to my spiritual cyst, or even oblivious about their existence. Nevertheless, how much more is God bothered by my spiritual cyst(s) than the one that is bothering me now.
Perhaps this is what God wants me to learn from having a cyst, without any promising cure at the horizon. When I close my eyes and pray, my immediate thought is to pray for cure of the cyst. But now I know, God wants to take away my spiritual cyst as much as my bodily one, if not more. C.S Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” All our bodies will fail one day, but our soul will live eternally.