As I headed off to bed, I made a quick prayer, took some cough drops for sore throats, and grabbed a bottle of NyQuil. Took a dose and fell asleep.
The next morning, Friday, everything was worse. The sore throat was terrible. Now there was a piercing headache. I felt weak, frail, and thin. I set up a movie to watch and I could completely relate to Bilbo Baggins as he said, "Gandalf, I feel thin, like butter scraped over too much bread."
That's how I felt. I was couch-ridden all morning and by days end I had drunk 3+ litters of water. In the early afternoon I began to eat and as I got more energy I showered, changed, and readied for the rest of the day. When my friends heard that I was sick, I was pleasantly barraged with little notes of encouragement and "I'm praying for you"s.
There was no one to take my shift at work, which meant I had to go in. I didn't want to do so grudgingly, so I prayed hard and prayed that my friends' prayers would be answered. I took the natural approach for my sore throat (thanks to mrs. johnson) and took some pills for my headache. I wasn't feeling too bad any more and I as I got to work, my sickness seemed to leave. I healthy enough to do a good job, and I don't think I was spreading anything, which is a big Thank You, Lord!
I finished up my night, closed the store, came home and readied once again for bed. This time, I couldn't help but smile and praise my Lord. He had done it again. He was faithful even when I was faithless. He is the Great Healer, and because of His love and power He can heal me.
Through conversations I have had over the past few days, notes I've received, and general meditation, I have come to a realization.
You can be sick for the glory of God.
Now, that sounds a bit odd, and maybe it should. Sickness after all is a result of the fall of man, right? ...but if you cannot bring glory to God when you are sick, frail, weak, needy, and helpless, then why would you bring glory when you don't believe you are those things? When everything is on the up and up?
You see, even though sore throats, headaches, and stuffy noses are a result of sin, they also provide an opportunity to bring God greater glory. We are weak, frail, and helpless people. Without God we are nothing. Yet, we know that the great news of the gospel is there is 'such a hope' in Christ. Spiritually without God, we are all those things. We are weak, sick, and dying. When we allow God to come into our lives we can be healed by the Great Healer.
So, when you get sick, let it be a reminder of what we are in sin apart from God's grace; let it be a reminder to approach God with a contrite heart with confession for our sin; let it be an opportunity used to shine for Jesus.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is as follows. May it be of encouragement to you. When you are weak, frail, hurting, in pain, helpless, and hopeless - you can find your hope in your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But 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. 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.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10