Many diabetics control their blood sugar levels by injecting insulin and/or orally taking medicines. I am one of those diabetics. The condition is relatively new to me, as is the treatment. Through the knowledge and wisdom of the medical personnel helping me to gain control of my condition, my sugar levels have gone from consistently sky-high to consistently falling between the accepted standards for a healthy lifestyle.
A part of my treatment has been modification of diet and exercise. This is something I can and must control on my own.
The temptation I am facing is to believe that I am controlling my sugar levels totally through my own efforts.
I desire to one day hear the words, “You no longer need to inject insulin.” I’d like to eventually hear the words, “You no longer need to take medication. You are doing a fine job of controlling your sugar levels through healthy diet choices and exercise. Just keep it up, and everything will be fine.”
So, about every day, I must remind myself that the diet and exercise modifications I am making to my life are helpful and essential, but the modifications, by themselves, are not the stabilizing forces which have led to the leveling of my sugars.
These modifications are working in conjunction with the insulin and medication. The insulin and medication are not optional. Without them, my sugar levels would consistently run much higher, and would exhibit major spikes from time to time. I cannot control the levels by my own efforts. I need the benefits of the medications.
(Please note the number of times the personal pronouns “I”, “me”, and “my” are used in the section above. This indicates a desire to be in control. It indicates a desire to be totally independent of anyone or anything else. It indicates a desire to deny personal weakness and helplessness.)
Spiritually, we often face the same type of temptations when it comes to dealing with sin. Perhaps we give our hearts and lives to Jesus, and by the power of the initial emotional adrenaline rush, we make some major modifications to our lives. Our goal is to totally change. Our goal is to be as “good” and moral as we can be so that God will be proud of us.
Often, we may experience our lives transforming from an emotional rollercoaster filled with drama into a calming Sunday drive down a country lane. And we are tempted to think to ourselves, “Through my own efforts, I have made an amazing change. Maybe I don’t need Jesus; at least not as much as I once did.”
Often we joyfully witness our list of priorities shifting from parties, excitement, lust, and self-fulfillment to family, sobriety, love, and service. We think to ourselves, “I have finally found myself. I have discovered that which I have been searching for; that which fills the void in my life. I am complete. I have arrived. Maybe I don’t need God or Jesus; at least not as much as I once did.”
In those times of temptation, we fail to realize that Jesus is the reason we have been able to get off the emotional, drama-filled rollercoaster. Jesus is the reason we have replaced selfish superficiality with selfless profundity. Jesus is the reason our lives have gone from spiritually depleting to spiritually enriching.
Physically, some of us diabetics may one day be able to discontinue the insulin and medication. But spiritually, none of us will ever come to a point that we can discontinue Jesus. He will forever be the stabilizing force within our lives.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) ESV
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) ESV
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) ESV
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