Devotional Readings

Bone Marrow Crisis

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12, NKJV.

I’d never thought much about bone marrow. Not until the day my white count, following a chemotherapy treatment, dropped from 1.9 to .7. (Normal starts around 4.4.) My doctor quickly ordered daily injections that would stimulate the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. The nurse administering the daily injections tried to prepare me. “When this med takes effect in about four days,” she said, “be prepared for some potentially major pain.”

Now I’ve never desired pain. Yet in this particular instance the worry of my compromised immune system not being able to fight off a serious infection deeply troubled me. Three days after the first injection I began to feel a bit achy. If this means my immune system is getting stronger, I thought, bring on the pain! Little did I know.

The next morning I awoke to pain such as I haven’t experienced since childbirth. Every joint in my body screamed. I felt trapped inside a throbbing rib cage with sledgehammers pounding front and back, at the base of my skull, and on both hips. The pain was so intense I couldn’t even cry.

A quick checkup call from my doctor’s office gave me permission to take some light pain medication. I prayed that I could bear this trial bravely. What helped the most during the next few days of suffering was remembering that this pain was an indicator of something very positive. My immune system was being strengthened precisely because of this painful activity.

In Hebrews Paul describes the Word of God as being powerful, sharp, and able to penetrate between the joints and marrow. It even discerns my thoughts and hidden motives. Now that can hurt! Yet the resulting spiritual, and even emotional, pain caused by spiritual conviction is a very clear indicator of something most positive occurring. The spiritual immune system is growing stronger precisely because the “sword” of God’s Word is at work.

How infinitely good God is to “activate” our spiritual bone marrow now (despite some painful aching in our “joints”) so that we can throw off the infectious temptations of sin.

Thank You, precious Lord, for Your healing, strengthening Word!

–Carolyn Rathbun Sutton

from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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