I have had shingles for the past few weeks. It’s been pretty painful. You can read about it on WebMD or Mayo Clinic. Shingles is not contagious to those who have had chicken pox or received chicken pox vaccine. There is no cure for this. It has to run its course. The most you can do is to take some medicine or apply cream to shorten the duration of the virus or relieve the pain temporarily.
One doctor from New Life prescribed the cream for me because I asked him for one. When I went to the pharmacy to pick it up, I was told that it is $45 even with my insurance. I left the store without getting it. It was too expensive for me. I am not going to die. And if I can tolerate the pain, the doctor did say to me that I don’t need to take anything. I saved $45 by going through a tiny, temporary pain. This is nothing compared to what Christ went through on the cross.
I have learned and experienced several things as I have been suffering from having the virus. First, people’s inadequate and incomplete knowledge makes them act weird. Again, shingles is not contagious to those who have had chicken pox or received the vaccine. But when I told the staff that I have come down with shingles, some obviously tried to stay away from me thinking that they will catch the virus if they come in contact with me. They weren’t all joking. And it was funny and weird seeing them acting that way.
Second, I thought about the love and compassion of Christ. When the lepers came up to him and asked him to heal them, he could have said to them, “Hey, I will heal you. Just don’t touch me! Stay away!” Instead, he reached out and touched them to heal them. Leprosy during Jesus’ time was thought to be highly contagious. This means, these lepers didn’t just suffer physically from having this disease. They suffered emotionally as well by being separated from their loved ones and ostracized by society. They were in need of human touch and embrace. Jesus healed them holistically by reaching out to and touching them. This is our Lord and Savior. He is full of understanding, compassion and love.
Third, sin will lift its head and control us when our spiritual immune system is weak or low. The virus that caused chicken pox in our body earlier in life doesn’t go away but remains inactive in the body. When our immune system becomes weak or low, this virus may reactivate itself as shingles.
Though we are saved by God’s grace through our faith in Christ, our sinful nature never goes away. It remains in us until we see Christ face to face when we will be fully and completely set free from the bondage of sin and death. Until then, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit and stay fit spiritually. When we fail to do this, that’s when our spiritual immune system becomes weak or low. And when this happens, we will often succumb to the attacks of our enemy. When it comes to spiritual battle, the adage that says, “The best defense is a good offense!” is absolutely true. We can protect ourselves from the attacks of Satan not by being defensive but by being filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are healthy and our immune system is strong, we will have less likely chance to get the virus.
Please don’t let your children come close to me for now. I still have shingles.
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