Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Faith Through the Storm: Part 2, One Week on Lower Prednisone

A week ago, yesterday, I dropped my current daily dose of Prednisone from 40mg to 37.5mg. This is our second attempt in 2015 to begin the process of getting me off Prednisone completely. After the first attempt,  I had to go back up to 40mg because the pain and inflammation came on too strong. You can read more about the whole story here if you'd like.
This time around, our doctor has me taking another drug whose sole purpose is to modify my symptoms. It's not curative and can be fairly toxic in large doses. I'm taking the smallest possible dose in hopes that its action in my body will help carry some of the burden that the Prednisone has been carrying as we try to get me off of that.
I started taking Methotrexate about a month ago and have been seeing some noticeable improvement in symptoms, as we expected. But we can't settle. Not where we're at. That's why I started the lower Prednisone dose two Sundays ago. No settling. Jesus promises health, and so we push for that until it comes.
The week has been noticeably rougher. It's amazing how much of a dropping prednisonedifference 2.5mg, one half of a tiny tablet, can make! I've had a bit more pain and a lot more fatigue, but the overall trajectory is good. Imagine a line graph. We should typically expect a little dip in how I'm feeling every time we drop the Prednisone dose (where the line goes down). But ideally, that dip would only last a short time before the line turns around and starts to go up again. As long as the overall trajectory is up, then we keep dropping the dose, bit by bit.
So far, the progress is good. We're going super slow with the whole thing because my body has been in such a fragile state for quite a while now. So the fact that the week has been pretty good is very good news.
To be honest, I'd much rather have our victory over Prednisone and the whole disease be overtly and obviously miraculous. You know, no help from another drug. No dips in how I'm feeling along the way. A quick process of going from 40mg per day to 0mg in a matter of days (which is pretty much unheard of after you've been taking Prednisone for as long as I have).
But does it mean that Jesus hasn't, or won't, come through? No.
I do want to make something clear. Corrie and I believe 100% that all healing is in line with the heart of our Dad. Whether that healing be the instantaneous miracle of a tumor shrinking, a wrist getting healed, discoloration on our daughter's neck going away--or the gradual healing of a cut from peeling potatoes--or the healing of a staph infection through antibiotics.
However--and this is a big however--we also believe that it's possible to see each and every physical infirmity, injury, disease, disorder, disability healed by the hand of Jesus. That's what we want. We want a testimony at which everyone can look and "know that there is a God in Israel and that this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear."
The spiritual battle for this thing is already won. Matthew 8:17 says that Jesus already bore away our sicknesses and pains. And Galatians 3:13 says that he redeemed us from the curse by becoming a curse for us.
The battle was won by Jesus on the cross once for all. So we live from that victory and believe his truth no matter what. We believe that it's possible for this disease to go simply by believing and walking in faith that the finished work of Jesus is THE MOST powerful force in existence. He came to destroy all the works of the devil, of which sickness is a part.
Corrie and I will push on for that. Yes, we are growing up into that faith, up into the full measure of the stature of Jesus. In the process, we are faced with very real giants. And as we are learning who we are in him, and as our faith for more and more of the reality of heaven to bust into our existence is growing, the medications are helpful and good. But may we all need them less and less as the reality of Christ in us, the hope of glory, radiates out from our spirits into every corner of our lives.
And by the way, here's a fun promise that God recently showed me we can stand on:
Mark 16:18  "If they drink any deadly poison, it will by no means hurt them."
It would seem like this isn't true for my body, if I've been experiencing toxicity from the medication. But no, it is true. No medication, no poison has more power over my body than the word of God. No poison has the right to hurt me anymore, because the promise is for all who believe in the name of Jesus.
So whatever damage has been done...it's subject to the pervasive grace and love of Jesus. Whatever bones have been cracked and adrenals have been burnt out...they are subject to Jesus's making the lame walk. And by the way, the promise for us all is:
Joel 2:25   I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.