Romans 8:9-10

Saturday, April 1
Julie Hinz

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

At 44 years old (2012) I was diagnosed with kidney disease. I had not been sick with anything that might lead to kidney issues, there are no genetic kidney problems, and out of nowhere I had a new identity, “idiopathic primary membranous neuropathy.” (Idiopathic = spontaneous or coming from nothing, primary = not a by-product of another disease like cancer, chemotherapy, aids treatments, etc.)

Three years later I was told it was time to get on the transplant list. I was terrified. In the space of one phone call, my mind went from “managing an illness” to “without a new kidney, you will die.” No amount of forethought can prepare you for when that reality hits. While working to meet the UNOS parameters, changing how I eat, adapting to new medications, additional doctors’ appointments, and the long list of tests required for organ transplant, my mortality weighed most heavily. I suddenly recognized the reality of frail human flesh. I had never been frail in my life!

After a successful transplant in 2016 it was discovered that what I have is not a disease of the kidney itself but is the existence of an antigen that attacks my kidneys. This will never go away, so, while I am “healthy and fine” this condition continues to sit in the shadows of my life. The hard reality is that this may cause my death.

Many in my situation find themselves living into the refrain of “Why me?!” Well, why not me? Am I any better or worse than anyone else? Since Adam, human flesh has been pointed toward death. When, we do not know, but physical death certainly awaits all of us.

What I do know, and what the passage above reminds me, is that while my physical being will die, my real life is wrapped up in the righteousness of Christ, and the glory that is to come after this body ceases its earthly journey. While my body is subject to death, my soul belongs to Christ and will live eternally with God. Now, having fully grasped that reality, there is no fear, only the deep desire to live life to the fullest, to share in ministry and faithful connection, in gratitude for what I do have; a faith family that embraces me, a purpose in ministry to God’s people, and a God who loves me and walks beside me through it all.

Gracious and loving Father, thank you for walking with me on my rocky and shadowed journey here on earth. May I know the consolation of your love and recognize that my frail human flesh is only a doorway into life with you. Amen.

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