May 20, 2016 was one of the scariest days of my life. My brother DJ, collapsed at the beginning of our youth group meeting. His left lung had collapsed. Out of nowhere. There was no trauma to his body. They told us that he had a condition seen in tall lanky men. He had tiny bumps or bubbles around his lungs called blebs and when one of them pops they allow air into his chest that compresses the lung and causes it to collapse spontaneously. There’s no answer yet as to why the blebs form, why they pop and how to remove them. But, immediately he had to undergo the pain of having a chest tube put in to keep him stable, but in excruciating pain and three days later he had surgery to repair his left lung.
Everything was cool until three months later in August 2016, his left lung collapsed again, this time even worse than before. He had to do a second surgery on the same lung and this time they used a method called pleurodesis. They created friction and something called talc to create a glue that would keep his lung connected to his chest walls. So even if another bleb popped and allowed air into his chest, it would not collapse his lung.
So since that surgery my brother has had two blebs pop. One in April of 2017 and February 24,2018. Each time the bleb pops he feels the same pain as he did the other times he experienced a full collapse. He’ll struggle to take a deep breath, he’ll feel pain radiating in his chest, shoulder and back. But, his lung will stay in place, he won’t go into respiratory distress. Even though, it sucks to see him in pain, knowing that his pain is only temporary, and non-life threatening this time, is a comfort.
And as always it got me thinking, when Jesus died on the cross and took away sin and shame from us, did that stop us from feeling the symptoms of sin, of shame, did it stop us from experiencing the same griefs like sickness, loss, pain (emotionally and physically) that everyone else does?
We still feel it.
But, what’s the difference?
My eternal security has already been glued or rather cemented. So even with the blebs popping and the gasps for air and the pain, my lung won’t collapse, cause there’s something strong on the inside holding it in place.
This Christian life is all about trust. We must trust God that even in the most severe of pain, the biggest crisis, the deepest pit of sin, in the times we cannot sleep because we are burdened by our pain, that our lives are being held together by him. We won’t die even though it feels like we will. We can and will rise from that place of sin and shame, the wind and the waves won’t kill us. With that we can breathe easier knowing that our souls are safe in his hands.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- John 16:33