Rejoice.Always?

Key verses in my life for the past 4 months:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (ESV) -Philippians 4:4

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)” -Philippians 4:7

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)”Romans 8:28

I can’t breathe well. It’s May and I have not been able to stop thinking about my breathing since December. It started with a chronic cough and now my lungs feel like cement. I head over to the emergency room because I’m just tired of not being able to take a breath without pain. 

They admitted me because I was not responding to any inhalers. They did a bronchoscopy on me to look into my lungs. My pulmonologist showed me pictures of what she saw and says, “I can’t believe you were still breathing, your airways were almost completely closed.” 

So what’s going on with me, I ask. My heart is healthy (3 years post heart attack). Now it’s my lungs that are failing me?! Come on! Can’t I get a break?! Labs come back which reveal 3 different kinds of bacteria and 1 kind of mold growing in my lungs; Prednisone (I have heard it called the “devil’s pill”), the culprit. This oral steroid suppresses my inflammatory response but it also suppresses my immune system which then invites opportunistic infections. It’s a catch-22; I need it to keep my lungs from acting up but it also puts me in harm’s way. Asthma is what I have; severe, uncontrolled asthma. 

It’s now September and my breathing is not getting better, it is actually worse. I can’t play with my sons without having to stop to catch my breath feeling like someone just punched me in my stomach, stunning my solar plexus. I can’t speak to someone without having to take a deep breath before, then feeling out of breath after. I can’t even go down to tie my shoes without feeling like I just climbed up a mountain as I stand back up. 

Honestly, I have had times of weakness feeling depressed and hopeless, but hey, I’m only human. These are human feelings, but when I do feel like this I praise God that He points me back to the cross and brings hope back into my life. God says, If you love me you will follow my commandments (John 14:15). Philippians 4:4 is a commandment; He tells his followers to rejoice, always. Now how does one do this even during times of hardship? Through Jesus. God is perfect, He does not make mistakes (Psalm 18:30). I say to myself, “I love Jesus, and I am called according to His purpose, therefore, He will make all things work out for me”. Sound familiar? Then I rely on the promise that the peace of God will guard my heart and mind and that His peace cannot be compared to anything else in the world because there is none like it. It’s even greater than the peace and love my precious wife gives me. 

You see, I can sit in a dark room and focus on my problems, but that’s not going to fix them (Luke 12:25). So I choose to tap into my “Jesus high” and pray that He shows me His goodness in all this. I pray that He reveals to me the purpose that He has for me. I may not be the Apostle Paul sitting in jail waiting for my death sentence, but I can say the same thing he said, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” I can go through the highs and lows of life as long as Jesus is with me. I may not be physically healed (yet!), but my heart is full. 

By: Luke Adan

6 thoughts on “Rejoice.Always?

  1. I don’t like that you are physically suffering Luke. Not at all. BUT what you’ve found in Jesus while in your suffering is not something that can be imparted to you you unless you’ve suffered. Suffering can produce a deep, deep well for us to pull living water from. What you’ve found is priceless. I’m here with you too. Just give me Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bethany. “Suffering can produce a deep, deep well for us to pull living water from”. I love that you said that. Our suffering shows how powerful God is…He even uses our suffering for goodness in our lives. I’m not saying suffering is fun, because it totally isn’t, but man our faith grows so much through it. Love Him man…so good….so, so good…
      BTW, were at Bethel again! lol.

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  2. Luke, you’re an inspiration. Your faith in God is deep and loving. I too place my burden with God, and know there is a reason for everything. I pray every day for God’s guidance and protection. We may not understand why the days are difficult, but neither did Jesus. You will recover. I recommend spending days with nature, the ocean or the forest. I find these places healing, and I see God in all that is beautiful, be it the wildflower among dried leaves or the fallen tree that’s still living, I love you my dear nephew. You, Julianne, your boys, your Mom, Tito Raja, Tita Deanne are some of the best people in my world. Take care always.

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    1. Hi Tita Divina,
      Thank you for the encouraging words. I praise Jesus for the beauty that He can produce through the hardships in life. This gives me hope. I will take your advice Tita and will try to take more nature walks meditating on His presence. I was actually thinking about this last night while I was at church. I though I needed to get to a quiet place where I can be filled with His presence without distractions.
      Tita, I miss you. You have always been like a mother to me growing up. Especially those fun days of being neighbors at Tomas Morato (I think that was our street?). Thank you. Love you Tita.

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  3. Luke this tito paquito you should try consulting other doctors.Get another Pulmonologist he might have a different solution to this problem of yours.I also had a problem with my heart Med since if makes me cough but the cough is so severe that I fainted several times.My first heart doc med was so strong that I passed out in the badminton court for 2mintues so I transferred to my cousin who is the head of the heart station in makati Med He gave me a weaker dose and for more than 7 years it worked but his meds made me have deep coughing episodes which also made me faint.So I followed my pulmonologist who has been telling me that the med I am taking are the problem.So I change doctors again he said he will give me the weakest med so my coughing stopped.If possible even get a third opinion different doctors have different approach to a sickness.But sea breeze is really good my sinus doc recommends HUMER HYPERTONIC100% sea salt spray it really opens my clogged nostrils if you spray your nostril with this and inhale deeply it might also unblock your lungs ask your doctor about it hope it will give you the same relief that it gave me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tito Paquito,
      Thank you for the great advice. My local pulmonologist actually referred me to UCSF pulmonary clinic in San Francisco. They have more specialists there. I’m thankful that my pulmonologist is wise enough to know when she needed me to get another opinion. I have tried many inhalers, sprays, even self injected myself with biologicals, but symptoms continue to get worse.
      So I hope the bigwigs up in San Francisco can fix me up!
      Do you guys have any plans of visiting the US again?

      Like

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