1st November 2020

Believer’s Paresthesia 

“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question. The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.”
Romans 7:24-25 (The Message paraphrase)

You have had your leg bent in an awkward position for too long and your foot goes numb. You know your foot is still there. You may even try to wiggle your toes. No response. In fact, if you try to walk you are liable to fall. We usually say our foot has “fallen asleep”. But it’s more complex than that. A nerve has been compressed or pinched, preventing communication between nerve and the brain. As a result, there is a disconnect between what our brain is thinking and what our body is doing…or not doing.

But having our foot fall asleep is not the unpleasant part. In fact, we don’t even know it has fallen asleep at first. But it’s when it wakes up—the tingling, ‘pins and needles’. In medical terms, this is known as paresthesia. It lets us know that our nerves are reconnecting and regaining proper functioning. Soon, our foot will be fully awake.

I can’t help but think how similar this is to the experience of our Christian walk of faith. As believers, we know we have been freed from sin and we no longer want to walk in it. But then we have a disconnect from what we know and what we do. We seem to suffer from some form of believer’s paresthesia. We may not like admitting it, but our walk of faith seems to hobble along on feet still trying to wake up.

It may help to know that even the Apostle Paul struggled with believer’s paresthesia. He recorded his experience in the Book of Romans: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15, NRSV). Paul wants to direct our attention, our gaze, from ourselves and on to the Lord. The fact that we are uncomfortable with sin in our lives is not a sign that we are still dead in our sins. It tells us we are waking up. Like the unpleasant experience of paresthesia, we are being reconnected and made whole.

Merciful Father, thank you for your loving presence in our lives, all helping to ‘wake us up’ and to reconnect us with you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Michelle Fleming


About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Michelle Fleming is an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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