I had an appointment to see the dermatologist today for my psoriasis. I have never actually seen a dermatologist for it before, so I was really looking forward to it! My psoriasis seems to go in phases: better, then worse, then almost gone, then unbearable, then better again, and so on. Right now it's in a pretty bad phase. It covers my entire scalp and has crept down onto my face. I also have small, but intensely itchy spots on my arms, legs, and torso. My doc doesn't even know what to do with me any more...I guess because things that should be helping just aren't! Tanning keeps the areas on my body from getting too bad, but I'm annoyed that there are so darn many of them. And as thin as my hair is, tanning still can't touch the ones on my scalp.
I hate psoriasis. HATE IT!!! I know theologians think Paul is referring to his eye sight in I Thessalonians 12 when he says, "7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. " However, I believe that Paul was actually referring to psoriasis! I believe this because I would describe my own psoriasis as a thorn in my flesh. Not only is it unsightly (in fact, this is the least of my concerns although I am, admittedly, not thrilled about having it on my face), but it is extremely uncomfortable. I feel like a burn victim. My flesh is covered in itchy, burning, scaly patches. It's also gross. Having it on my scalp makes me appear to have a really severe case of dandruff. My shoulders are constantly covered in flakes. To make matters worse, all of the scalp medications that I've tried are oily...so I end up with OILY, FLAKY hair! Actually, I am using an alcohol based medication right now and I love that it evaporated so quickly and doesn't leave my hair oily. However, rubbing alcohol into open wounds is not fun and often brings tears to my eyes. Perhaps God is keeping me from becoming conceited. I wonder about this especially as I consider the psoriasis on my face.
I, too, have asked God to take this thorn from me, but yet it remains. I try to rest in His Grace and believe the power of verse 9...that His power is made perfect in my weakness. But what really speaks to me when I am frustrated with this painful, itchy, gross affliction is verse 10 which says, "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." I pray that someday I will be able to delight in this difficulty and see God's Grace carrying me through it. But, today, I was just utterly disappointed when the dermatologist CANCELED my long-awaited appointment due to illness.