I have allergies. Not the kind where I grew up with them, but the kind where I turned a certain age, and all hell broke loose! Literally. My first major allergic reaction happened last November (to an antibiotic that was supposed to help me), and it is now what I will refer to as the “start of it all”.
A year later, during this Thanksgiving holiday, I spent one full vacation day with my allergist. Eight. Long. Hours. I went through what he called a “Rush”. A Rush is five rounds of allergens pumped into your body to help build up your immune system. With each round, the dosage is higher, and you anticipate that your symptoms may become more severe as your body adjusts. Every 20 minutes, I received three shots – one in my right arm, two in my left.
I went to this appointment fully prepared. I knew about the doctor’s strategy, the rounds of treatment, and follow-up procedures. I had access to a tv with cable, my laptop, books (one fiction, one non-fiction), sweet snacks, salty snacks, water, Dr. Pepper, hot tea, iced tea, and my Texans blanket. I was PREPARED! During my 20-minute wait times, I focused on email checking, house hunting, birthday party planning, and appointment making. I was crushing my To Do List! (That is an automatic thrill for me!)
But let’s talk about these shots. While they did have a sting to them, the pain was not as bad as I imagined. I was surprised, but I was still suspicious that it would become more painful, all the way until the last round. But it never came. There was soreness, redness, a little blood shed but never much pain.
Now, what would happen if I quit in the middle of the process because of my fear of the pain? I’d have to start over another day with the exact same process. Or I would have a different strategy that would require more shots spaced out over a longer period of time (i.e. months). Honestly, if I wasn’t having a medically dangerous allergic response, quitting would be the least effective way to handle the process.
Allergy shots are miniature life lessons. You might be thinking “That is crazy! Those shots have gone to her head.” You might be right (LOL), but I think the biggest lesson I learned that day is that God often puts us through a “Rush” without consulting us. It catches us off guard, and we don’t usually handle the process well. Ultimately, we fail miserably. But what if we changed our perspective and turned this process on its head?
How radical would it be to ask God to put us through a “Rush”? Are you strong enough to intentionally request God to help you build up your resistance to the thing you are weakest in? How determined are you for greatness by knowingly subjecting yourself to ROUND after ROUND of the one thing you know beats you down?
I challenge us, in this season and the next, to step passed our fears. Identify what you’re allergic to, and ask God to help you build up your resistance. Let the struggle strengthen you. Let your discomfort reveal your true condition, your true character. It will prove, what I know for sure, that everything we truly desire is on the other side.