Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Joy in Sickness?
Sickness. I have been thinking alot about this recently. It's hard not to think about it when you have a large family and sickness tends to travel in packs and fast. LOL!!! We've had somebody sick in this house since Valentine's Day. It's been rather hard this week as Underdog was out of town. I got sick on Sunday with the crude that's been passed around. For some reason, we always seems to have extreme sickness when he travels. . .and he doesn't travel often. And the discouragement was growing.
Yesterday we hit the lowest point of it all though. I woke up with a fever (usually it was coming on midway through the day.) I felt Si-Bay about noon and he felt very hot. Sure enough he was running 103.9. It came on so fast. Schmoo was spiking a fever quickly and had terribly watery eyes. Little Leeli has been sick since last Thursday but seems to be getting worse. When I talked to Underdog that morning, he was telling me he was getting sick as well. I took Si-Bay to the doctor in the afternoon because I was afraid of a secondary infection and he seemed to be having trouble breathing. I was worried about pneumonia. I found out he had the flu. FLU?!!!! That isn't what everyone else had. All they had was a cold. And he had the cold last week. All I could think at that point was "Round 2 - here we come."
While we were at the doctor, the NP checked Leeli's ears. DOULBE EAR INFECTION!!!!! Let me just say that I can count one hand the number of times any of my kids have had ear infections. All of those times they were older preschoolers. I have never had a baby with ear infections. I felt another blow. As we were driving home I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter. I felt like I had been run over by a Mac truck and I was shivering. Si-Bay and I came home and crashed on the couch. Underdog texted me on his way home that he was running a temperature and had chills. Could this get any worse? But then he texted me back another question that he always asks. . .what is God trying to teach us?
I had to think about it about it for a while. For me, I think the answer is trust. I struggle with giving God control of our health. I often see it as simply being black and white. . .if you eat right you'll be healthy. If you don't eat right, you'll be sick. Well, we couldn't get our diet any healtier if we tried. God has a purpose in all this sickness. Part of it was for me to realize that I am simply not in control. People get sick. That is the effect of sin on our bodies.
But I think Underdog hit on the greatest lesson this morning. He told me that he kept thinking about joy. Do we have joy in the midst of all this? Nehemiah 8:10 says " the joy of the Lord is your strength." Even though we're sick, we can find strength to get through it because of that joy. We have much to be joyful over. Sure we've been sick for quite a while and yes, it is getting old. But is it really so bad as to lose our joy? We've been in this place before and we always come out stronger on the other side. We don't have any type of chronic illnesses that really stress the body or the family. God provides all that we need to fight disease and in HIS timing always heals our bodies. On top of all these great reasons to be joyful, we should have joy in the Lord because of the salvation He has given to us. There is really no other reason to be joyful than that. If you look at being sick in the grand scheme of things, we don't even deserve to be alive. Our sin is that great. Our sin deserves death. But He doesn't give it. For those of us that belong to the Jesus Christ, we have salvation and death is not our end. That should bring tremendous worship from our hearts and a sense of joy to our lives as we lay around feeling miserable with fevers and runny noses.
This, too, shall pass. All bodies mend. God created the immune system to be very intricate and work very well. We are approaching all of our sickness using God's means from nature - essential oils, herbs, even breastmilk. It always takes longer to feel better. I forget this part. We actually come out healthier instead of just covering up the symptoms. Covering up the symptoms with pain meds or lowering the fever just hinders the immune system that God created to fight for us. Most importantly, we are trusting His healing hand. He does heal. He will either heal our bodies (temporarily) on this earth OR He will ultimately heal when we stand before Him in heaven. Now THAT is something to be joyful over.