This past week, I’ve been sick with something nasty. Can’t quite say what it is; apparently, what we know as the ‘common cold’ is a variety of innumerable illnesses which our bodies just happen to react the same way to. But I’ll say it’s a cold. A really, really bad cold. Coughing, sneezing, emptying tissues boxes by the hour, the works.
Being sick with this sort of thing really shows me my innermost self. And no, not just because I’m coughing my entrails out. I mean, sickness makes me irritable and cranky, probably because I’m so weak, so vulnerable. My head is throbbing and I don’t feel like thinking. My throat hurts and I don’t feel like talking. I can’t smell stuff. The rest of my body aches and it’s a chore to get out of bed. Can’t breathe and it makes sleeping difficult. Wah wah waaah!
All these factors contribute to my being less patient with my computer loading things on the Internet, the bus being ‘late’ by my watch, my soup tasting funny, all sorts of little things that I’m suddenly so bothered by. The question is, has my life really gone downhill since I’ve gotten sick, or is everything pretty much exactly the same as it always is, and do I have any right to grouch about things? Answer: Life is no different around me, just inside me, and I don’t really have the right to grouch.
My being sick could be caused by a number of things. I won’t say God has willed it, because I know He loves me and doesn’t want to make me sick. He wants to make me strong in Him. However, because I’m sick, it is easier for me to realize what my heart is really like at the moment, and how much I’m missing out on God’s love. If my heart were more like His, I wouldn’t be so quick to whine and groan at the simple annoyances that I, literally, deal with every day and am normally used to. It bothers me that I am so easily bothered by things when I’m sick and weak, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this issue. The blessing in it is that truly, I recognize my need for more Jesus when my temper flares up against silly things, and it certainly does that more often when I’m sick.
For example, I got slightly unhappy when I woke up from a ‘nap’ a few minutes ago, after having written half of this blog and after I planned to only sleep for an hour and a half before I would finish this and post it. Set two alarms. I don’t know how I slept past two alarms, and my being sick is no excuse. I woke up and started coughing angrily before sitting down to finish this.
So, am I saying God makes people sick when He knows we needs to straighten up? No, but I am saying that the timing with my sickness in particular fascinates me, because I know that He knows that I need to straighten up, and I know that He uses all kinds of things for His work to get done. Is anyone else out there catching something nasty and suddenly noticing the condition of your heart? This isn’t a guilt-trip; don’t feel bad about it. I mean, do, but in a healthy fashion. Recognize it and fix it! Maybe your sickness won’t be such a pain when you know that you’re right with The Lord, yeah? Food for thought. Er… cough drops for thought.
Luther D. Powell