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Yesterday I enjoyed the privilege of getting an MRI. It is not my first experience with the acronym. Each time it becomes a bit of a sanctifying experience.

Prior to the procedure I answered extensive questions to ensure that I was not embedded with anything that might be magnetic. They wanted to validate that I was safely alone in the room. As the procedure began I learned what it would feel like to be trapped inside of a jack-hammer. In time the incessent pinging became almost melodic and strangely soothing.

The tech offered a challenge to a highly competive person like myself. He said, “Try not to move.” This, to me, means, “Try to sit still and win the award for the best MRI in the history of the hospital.” This became increasingly difficult as my mind began to mess with me. Suddenly my toes “wanted to move” and so did my leg. I had to work to control myself. The itch on my face did not need to be scratched. I was reminded again of the difficulty I have in controlling my flesh. It takes work, effort and consistency to say no to something and yes to another. As a Christian I know that I have to work to say no to sin and yes to Christ. I have to battle to persevere. The MRI reminded me of the battle, the struggle that is within me. Too often I get accostmed to these spiritual twitches and itches that could be great means of personal gain and growth if intentionally denied. This was a win for me spiritually.

I was also encouraged by the time to pray. The hospital ensured I was alone and fit to have the procedure. But I was not alone. There in that case I was waging war against dark forces of evil, lifting up my family and friends, and speaking with the King of the Universe. This is a true joy and blessing.

My encouragement to you is, in Piper fashion, “Don’t Waste Your MRI!” (or anything else) Use it for the glory of God and the good of your soul.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Waste Your MRI”

  1. Kurt Earl says:

    Great reminder. I had a very similar experience a few years ago. I went in determined to pray for all of my 8th grade Bible class students at LCS. I have a decent photographic memory so as I was lying there I just pictured each of them in their assigned seats and prayed for them. I had roughly 50 kids that year. I was amazed at how much actual prayer I got in. Removed from distraction and unable to move I prayed for many thing for each student in the 45 minutes. I learned how distracted I often am in prayer time and how much more I can/should be praying for people.

  2. Caleb Suko says:

    This is a great reminder that the greatest battle may not necesarily be with Satan but with our own hearts.

    Blessings and prayers on the outcome of the MRI.

  3. J. Eric says:

    Thanks Erik, you wrote, “The MRI reminded me of the battle, the struggle that is within me.”

    How true that struggle is. I had my first MRI in 1988 at Tucson Medical Center prior to the removal of a golf ball sized pituitary adenoma. When they removed the adenoma they also took out my pituitary gland. The gland that is the “Master Gland”.

    Prior to having my Master Gland removed, I had never seriously thought about my body and the gift of life God gives us every second of every day of our lives. But I am reminded daily now because for the last 25 years this week I have been required to take prescription medication to replace the natural secretions of the Master Gland. That would be Thyroid Gland function, Adrenal Gland function, Testicle function, etc… I take thousands of dollars of prescription medication every month (praise the Lord that I have good insurance through my employer) and if I don’t take that medication, I will die.

    Since that surgery and almost 10 MRI’s later, God has caused me to “grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and now instead of sitting quietly in the back row of Church, I actually lead Worship. And instead of attending Sunday School and enjoying the fellowship, I am teaching that Adult Sunday School class and we are studying The Atonement.

    All believers need to take your MRI advice and thank the Lord for the precious gift of life and now use that life to glorify the King.

    We are fearfully and wonderfully made…

  4. Koby Wiebe says:

    Matthew 26:41
    “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
    Just like in your MRI you wanted to not move but your body wanted to move. Most likely that was because the doctor said not to move. As humans the sinful nature in us to often makes us want to disobey any command that is given our way. Just look at the Israelites. Over and over again they disobey God’s direct commands. Just like little children how you tell them not to take a cookie the first thing they do is want to take the cookie.
    It is great when we find things like your MRI to use as examples for life. We need to contently be reminding ourselves to lean on God’s strength and not our own when we are tempted. We on are on will be taken down over and over again by are own sinful nature, but with God you can triumph over temptation.
    1 Corinthians 10:13
    No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

  5. Fletcher says:

    That’s a really cool connection that you drew between an MRI and the battle that we as Christians face today. And Satan always pulls on the threads in our lives that are already sticking out and weak. The Devil won’t try and tempt us with ice cream when chocolate is our weakness. We should constantly be preaching the Gospel to ourselves everyday and trust in Christ. He is our refuge and the stronghold that we should run to when we are tempted by the sinful desires that each of us have in our hearts. Do you think that it would ever be possible for mankind to do right without the Spirit of God guiding them?

  6. Very cool. From July 2012 thru August of 2013 I endured cancer treatment and followup care. Lots and lots of CT scans PET scans and radiation treatment everyday for 2 months. I gotta tell you, some of the best praying and communing with The Lord was when I was in those machines. Sounds crazy but true. You are completely alone. There is nobody there but you and Him. It certainly was time well,spent. Thanks for the great article.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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