Jesus is in My Boat

Some years back, right around the time I was finishing my masters at Liberty University , I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which I will refer to as RMSF. I was cleaning out the wooded area in our yard, trying to clear my mind regarding my internship and final examination. Although it was cold weather, I apparently stirred up the ground cover to the point a tick was disturbed and bit me. I did not feel the bite but instinctively knew something had happened; and, upon examination, I discovered a tick the size of a pinhead on my leg. Several days later, the distinctive “bullseye” marking around the bite appeared, a sign that clearly indicated RMSF.

Without going into elaborate detail, my subsequent treatment was inadequate and in fact, exacerbated my symptoms. Finally I went to a clinic that ran the proper tests and the doctor found that my titer readings were, as he put it, “Off the charts; you got a massive download in the bite.” In addition, they discovered other complications— the upshot was that my symptoms and pain quickly increased to the point that I became partially paralyzed and was unable to get out of a chair or bed unassisted. However, the most difficult part of the illness was the indescribable pain that was unrelenting and robbed me continually of much-needed sleep. The most intense part of my struggle to regain my health and achieve a tolerable level of pain took place over a two-year span in which I desperately sought out and experimented with various treatments.

At the same time, as a born-again follower of Christ, I also continually prayed and sought deliverance from my plight in whatever form the Lord deemed to use. Still, the pain continued and I went through spiritual ups and downs, or spiritual cycles of: faith–questioning–doubt–despair. Amidst the Lord’s seeming silence and the lack of progress in my recovery, there was a continual struggle to maintain faith and hope that God would soon remove my pain and restore my physical strength.

Over the next few posts, I will share how God used this experience to teach me about His ways, who He is, and how to surrender to His purposes. Mark 4:35-40 is a key passage that mirrors my spiritual struggle throughout my RMSF experience: Just as the disciples, I needed to understand that Jesus was in my boat— and that was enough.