As we moved to different churches during my husband’s ministry, he liked to find out about the people and what they were going through; what they needed from him. In one of those churches, he discovered that a woman who had been a long-time member was suffering from cancer. She had been afflicted with the disease for quite some time and was very ill. So my husband, the new preacher, went to visit her.
When he arrived at her house, he was ushered into the bedroom where she lay, almost unable to rise from her pillow. They visited for a while. She told him about the work she had done in the church during her productive years, and they talked about the church where she had been a member for many years, the church he had just come to serve.
Then my husband asked a simple question He said, “How long have you had this cancer?”
She looked at him with frantic, wide eyes. Rising to a sitting position in the bed, something she had not been able to do without help for days, and pointing her finger at him, she said, “I do not have cancer. Don’t you ever say this is cancer!”
He apologized profusely, as she managed to get back onto her pillows and turn away. He left the room.
My husband visited her at other times, but he never mentioned the word “cancer” as her body wasted away.
After a time, the woman died and my husband preached her funeral. But she never accepted the fact that her disease had been a debilitating cancer.
This woman was unable to accept the reality of her life. She was unable to come to terms with the fact of her cancer. But did that stop the cancer from ravaging her body? No.
Sometimes things come into our lives that we cannot accept. Hard things that we will not face with a true spirit. We think that by denying the fact of the matter, it will go away. But it won’t. Perhaps it is a habit that we don’t want to get rid of. We know it is hurting our bodies, but we refuse to come to terms with the reality of what it is doing.
It may be a spirit of rebellion that a person refuses to acknowledge. Time moves on and the rebellion or spiteful spirit grows within the person. While the attitude grows, it ravages the mind. It goes on, even when the person who has it refuses to accept its reality.
It may be a deep hurt that has festered for a long time. Sometimes a faithful church member drops out of church and stays away from his house of worship because of something somebody said or did that hurt their feelings. Satan comes to us, reminding us of how this person or that person hurt us, keeping us upset and mad, and out of fellowship with God, as long as we allow him to do so.
These things we refuse to acknowledge hurt the one who will not come to terms with it. When a person is convicted and allows God to work again in his or her life, the victory no longer belongs to Satan. Once we acknowledge our reality and confess it, we can be forgiven and restored.
Is there something in your life that has been festering a long time? Take a deep look inside and allow God to heal your spirit, if this is your reality.