People with MS often undergo an annual MRI to monitor their disease. Yesterday I was at Duke Medical Center being prepped for my annual Cerebral MRI to monitor the advancement of my MS. As I was slid into the tube of the MRI scanner, I had the thought that maybe we all need a spiritual MRI. Engulfed in the noise of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, I had the following thoughts. Permit me to share them with you. Please read more…
An extremely nice Radiology Technician greeted my wife and me at the Duke Medicine Pavilion on Sunday afternoon. Following some initial small talk, which happily included an opportunity for me to testify to this young woman about my faith in Jesus and the work of Broken Door Ministries, she was soon inserting an IV into my arm for the contrast medicine to be used later during this procedure.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain is useful in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system. MRIs of the cerebral hemispheres and spinal cord are used to detect MS lesions, known as plaques, which may form in central nervous system white matter at any location. The formation of these lesions often leads to physical disability and, sometimes, to cognitive decline.
Many of you have no doubt had an MRI. Some people struggle with the claustrophobic torpedo like tube that they are slid into for this procedure. After years of continued testing, I have grown used to it. They always offer a head set for music to block out the noise of the magnets and as always, on this day, I chose 60’s music. My head was placed in a device to keep it from moving and into the machine I went. Part way through the noisy procedure a contrast agent was inserted into the IV to enhance the scans.
Regular annual scanning allows my doctor to observe the progression of the disease. Active bright white spots or plaques will in time turn to what are known as black holes which usually indicate extreme and permanent tissue destruction and resulting loss of function and permanent disabilities.
Likewise, regular scanning of our soul, points out our sin. As I was lying there in the MRI, I thought of the plaque as the sin in our lives. Just as in the brain, the white plaque indicates active lesions; the sin in our lives indicates the ongoing disruption of our relationship with God. If our sin is left untreated, and we fail to repent and be changed, our sin can form a permanent “black hole” in our soul, and just as with MS, this black hole of sin can severely disable our ability to walk as disciples of Jesus.
Now for the good news, unlike MS, a disease with no cure, there is a cure for the sinful lesions on our soul. If we turn to Jesus and repent, He blots out our inequities and cleanses us from our sins (Psalms 51:3-4). After all, He is the great healer.
On this day, as I laid there in the MRI scanner, a medley of 60’s tunes attempted to block out the beeping, buzzing and knocking noises of the magnets. I thought it ironic that as I listened to THE TWIST by Chubby Checker and TWISTING THE NIGHT AWAY by Sam Cook, I realized that the MS was slowly robbing me of my ability to walk and/or twist again. As I listened to THIS MAGIC MOMENT by Jay and the Americans, I thought there was nothing magical about this moment in the MRI scanner. As I listened to AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, I gave praise to Jesus that there was no sin that could keep me away from His love and mercy. And finally, just before my procedure concluded, I HEAR A SYMPHONY by the Supremes came on my headset. This made me smile because the noise of the MRI procedure was far from a symphonic melody.
Permit me to bring my thoughts to a conclusion. The great news as I stated above is that there is a cure for the damaging effect of sin in our life. That cure is Jesus. The bad news is that there is no SMI (Spiritual Magnetic Imaging) device that detects the sin on our soul. We also can’t afford to only do a once a year checkup, like I do for my MS, to do a spiritual scan. We must turn to the magnetism of Jesus Christ daily. We need to employ constant prayer, spiritual counseling and Scripture reading to assist us in scanning ourselves for any potential damaging sinful lesions. The moment any spiritual plaque is detected, we must repent and turn to Jesus before these sins continue to advance, thereby forming a black hole in our soul.
Get your checkup today. Don’t delay. Make Spiritual Magnetic Imaging (an examination of conscience) a part of your prayers every day.
Probe me O God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts, point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me on the path to everlasting life.” Psalms 139:23-24
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I want to extend a special thanks to the Knights of Columbus Council at Immaculate Conception Parish in Hendersonville, NC for inviting me this past Saturday to put on the Blessed, Broken and Scared retreat. The Holy Spirit was present and I was blessed to be with the men of the parish. Thank You!