I have been sick, folks.
For a week.
With some stupid runny nose, clogged sinuses, sore throat, dry cough, headache, no energy, huge BLAH thing.
I don't know how you *do* sick.
Some people are like grumpy old bears, and just want to be left alone.
I turn into a toddler, wanting constant attention and company, and special things to eat.
I've been known to whine.
Being sick isn't fun, is it?
We've all had times when we just get knocked out by the "latest bug" touring the human population we're exposed to.
I guess it's my turn.
I’d like to write about how wonderfully God made our bodies.
How He created them to instantly come to our defenses. (This is the reason for multiple symptoms – it's our body's way of warding off the "bad guys.")
And that is true.
But, the thing that bothers me the most about being sick is how it affects me emotionally.
I get discouraged really easily.
And sad, and fearful, and overwhelmed.
I become a *bed potato* – (a close cousin of a couch potato).
Yes, when we get sick, bed rest is a good idea. It allows our immune system to gear up for the fight.
But after a while, bed rest can become bed stuck…
No, I am still not feeling well.
But I also know that I'm sliding into that place where I just want to roll over and never get up.
The place where I realize that a local flock of blue jays have nested in the knot of hair that has evolved on the top of my head – (when did I last brush it out??)
The place where I realize that my mouth aroma might closely resemble "morning mouth" – at 7 o'clock in the evening – on the second or third day.
The place where I realize that I have been putting deodorant on the outside of my shirt – instead of changing clothes, or, for pete's sake, taking a shower!
The place where my face without makeup is beyond frightening – (hey, who needs a Halloween mask? I'm just practicing…)
The place where "The Hub"s" encouraging words to maybe get up and walk around a little bit is greeted with my moaning…
"Can't I just stay in bed?"
If you can get past feeling awful, being sick is kinda cool. It gives you a built-in excuse to do nothing for a few days. To just ignore life, and put *all that important stuff* on hold.
Bills, phone calls, housework, grocery shopping, etc – POOF!
Back in the day, it also bought me a free ticket to stay home from school or work.
Nope, whatever it is, I can't do it – I'm SICK.
The problem is that I get discouraged, and then I am tempted to crawl under the covers and forget life.
Don't you have days when you wake up and just want to say:
"Can't I just stay in bed?"
Life is tough.
Facing it is tougher.
And I am convinced that the enemy of our souls does everything in his power to keep us *out of the game.*
He loves when we figuratively crawl under the covers.
Because, you see, a bunch of spiritual *bed potatoes* are no threat.
And this is his mission – to make God's followers weak and ineffectual.
To make us spiritually sick.
It is this realization that made me force myself out of bed this morning, to actually face the day.
The germs are still fighting, and I'm still fighting back – and yes, I'm still feeling lousy.
But, I cannot give up.
You see, I heard the Lord calling me this morning, and I answered:
"Can't I just stay in bed?"
His gentle reply?
"No, I've got things for you to do."
That's the mission, the challenge – to face life.
To pursue God and His purposes at all costs, even when we don't feel like it.
To walk when we want to crumble.
To rise when we stumble.
Because, like that familiar saying, I want the enemy of my soul to mutter:
"Uh oh, she's up."
Have you been *spiritually sick* lately? Are you ready to get up?!
(NOTE: Per the suggestion of a very faithful reader, I have changed the color of all Scripture references, hoping to make them easier to read – another shade of red, to set them apart from my own words. May God bless you with His Word!)
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all." (Psalm 34:19, ESV)
"…for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…"
(Proverbs 24:16, NIV)
"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up…" (Psalm 71:20, NLT)
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me." (Psalm 138:17, NIV)
"'LORD, help!' they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them…" (Psalm 107:19-20, NLT)
"'I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,' says the LORD." (Jeremiah 30:17, NLT)
"'For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.'" (Jeremiah 31:25, ESV)
"O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health."
(Psalm 30:2, NLT)
"Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." (Psalm 55:22, NLT)
“Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 37:24, NLT)
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light." (Micah 7:8, NIV)
"'…I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.'" (Exodus 23:22, NIV)
"When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God…is with you! When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops. He will say to them, 'Listen to me…Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!'" (Deuteronomy 20:1-4, NLT)
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