So, I’ve been sick, as in really sick! I was down for the count for nearly three weeks. I haven’t been that sick in nearly 20 years. Ugh! At first I tried to just gut it out, to keep pushing my way through it until I felt better. When my body rebelled and shut me down from action, I just slept, figuring that was my best bet to get over whatever it was in a few days. Then, as I started to feel better, I took a drug and had a strong reaction to it. Translation – another 2 days down and another 4-5 days of feeling as weak as a newborn kitten. It was those last 4-5 days I found the most challenging. I wasn’t tired so I couldn’t sleep, but neither did I have energy to doanything! I felt like a slug, and I was feeling angry about it all.
Then I remembered a woman from my Mother-Daughter Bible study group. She was a cancer survivor, having just pulled through over a year’s worth of treatment. She not only was in remission, but she had such an incredible spirit about her. In our group, she shared about one key, perspective changing moment from early on in her battle. Her mother had passed away just a month prior to her diagnosis. She went to her dad, feeling guilty to even cry to him about her fears since her mom had just passed. But she went anyway, and what he shared changed her world. After holding her and comforting her, he looked at her with a smile and said, “The Lord says to be grateful in all things.” The truth of those words struck, and sunk down deep. She realized that instead of mourning what was, she needed to rejoice in each day she had. She decided to move forward with faith that whatever the outcome, she had many reasons to choose faith and to rejoice (though she obviously prayed for healing, too!).
As I recalled the bravery and peace that woman possessed, it changed my perspective. Instead of grousing, I took the extra time I had on my hands to pray and think through things I don’t normally have time to look at more deeply. New ideas and plans began emerging. I wasn’t exactly productive because I still felt weak, but I came to peace in the space I found myself in, trusting God would use it in some way (which He did – and I’ll share about it in a few days!). I let go of the anger and the self-pity, and chose to embrace my down time. I don’t know that I healed any quicker because of it, but I certainly felt much better on the inside.
You never know exactly how God is going to work. You never know how or when He’ll show up to gently guide you in a different direction. The key is to take the time to listen, to not allow the negative to crowd out the realm of possibility and beauty all around you. I think God blesses us in some way every day. The challenge is to keep our eyes clear and our hearts open enough to find it.
For further thought: “Most of all, friends, always rejoice in the Lord! I never tire of saying it: Rejoice! Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One,” (Philippians 4:4-7). Do you have an area that you need to let go into the Father’s capable hands? Something challenging you need to turn around on its head and instead be grateful for? Look for ways to do so this week. And, take the time to read the rest of the passage in Philippians (click HERE) so you can be encouraged.
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