by Tim Patterson
PLYMOUTH, MI – Twenty months! That is the very least number of months we here in the good ol’ USA have been dealing with a very difficult and deadly viral epidemic that has turned into a global pandemic. Person after person has contracted and sadly many have succumbed to, the reactionary ravages of this disease. COVID-19 does not kill an individual, but the way our bodies react to it does; the subsequent infections and organ failures that accompany this vicious little crown of a virus.
By the grace of God and a very good vaccine, Sabrina and I have not contracted this bad bug. We have been as cautious and careful as we could be and followed the appropriate protocols. To say the least, we are most grateful.
I know what it is like to have pneumonia, which is one of the deadliest attributes of the COVID infection. It is no fun!
A few years back I encountered the gnarly nemesis called pneumonia, and to this day remain susceptible to this kind of lung infection. There I was, minding my own business when it began to take over. I had felt fatigued for a few days, but other than that I was fine. A little tightening of the chest and just a slight elevation of my body temperature was all that I noticed. Then within just a few hours, my lungs were congested, fever was rising, and I felt like I had been in an inordinate encounter with a Mack truck and lost.
I had pneumonia and didn't know it. I thought it was just a slight case of the flu that was going around, and I would be over it in a few days.
As you may know, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by a wide variety of agents, including viruses, bacteria, micro-organisms know as Mycoplasma and Rickettsia, and some fungi. Inflammation also occurs with the inhalation of various dusts or gases and with the aspiration of food or stomach acid. The pathological process usually begins with the irritation of lung tissue. The walls of air sacs (alveoli) that compose one’s lungs, swell, or are destroyed, and plasma, red blood cells, and white blood cells from lung capillaries fill the alveolar spaces.
The portion of the lung involved becomes relatively solid and basically is rendered temporarily nonfunctional. The once soft and pliable tissues that transfers oxygen to the blood become hardened sacks of gunk filled (medical term lol) balloons. Typical symptoms include fever, chills, cough, chest pain, increased production of sputum, sweating, aching, expectoration of blood, and difficulty in breathing.
How I contracted this case of pneumonia is still a mystery to me. I didn't go out looking for it, nor did I invite it to invade my body and incapacitate me for more than a week.
Was there something I was doing that created an atmosphere that was conducive for this infection to take root? Had I defied some of the basic laws of good health and placed myself in jeopardy? I doubt that I will ever know for sure the direct cause, but this I do know, the results were the same. I was eventually suffering the ravages of this very uncomfortable invader and unless personal physician had intervened, with the proper treatment, the outcome could have been fatal.
Sin has many of the same characteristics that influenza or pneumonia possess. It comes into the life of every man, woman, boy and girl in much the same way as does a physical disease, but unlike pneumonia, it does not attack the body, but it attacks the soul and spirit.
All mankind has been infected with sin and the source and vestiges of sin is always within us. It is just waiting for the best (or might I say worst) atmosphere in which to grow.
Just as our bodies are covered and filled with bacteria and viruses, so are our souls with sin. If left untreated by our Great Physician, then we will eventually succumb to its fatal infection.
Had I not chosen to go to my physician for treatment when I did, it is questionable as to whether I would be breathing the air of this world today. It may be that you do not notice the effects of the infection of sin in your life but believe me; it will one day take its toll. It will eventually kill you.
I strongly advise you to make an appointment with the Good Doctor who will be able to heal you from all your souls’ diseases. And the good thing about this Doctor is that there are no lines in which to wait, He’s always in, and His services are free. What a deal!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board.