I think I know how that dog feels.
Just last night, I was curled up in a blanket. The tissue box, medicine and copious amounts of water were all within arms reach.
I was sick.
In fact, I’ve been sick for a few days now. It started with a sore throat, then it progressed to sneezing and coughing. And it all came to a head last night when I had a fever of 101. And you know what?
It was a blessing.
Now before I go any further, I want to explain something. This was my experience. My sickness was not life threatening in any fashion. It was just an old-fashioned cold. Still no fun, but what I’m about to discuss certainly does not apply to every experience. Mine will be gone soon. Some are going through seasons of deep pain and sickness. In no way am I saying that is blessing.
I’m not even saying everyone else should react to sickness the way I have this week. I don’t want to tell others what they should or should not do. That’s for them to decide.
But my sickness has been a blessing.
I can’t go into much detail, but I had a big decision this week. In fact, some might consider it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To accept the offer meant I would need to take a major leap of faith. I wrestled with the decision for an entire day. I sought advice of close friends and mentors. My wife was praying for me all day. But the biggest factor of all was my sickness. Why?
It forced me to depend on God.
Now, I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. We’re taught to depend on God in all situations, but especially in the big decisions. Had I not been sick, I certainly would have prayed about the situation. I certainly would have read my Bible to look for wisdom and encouragement. But being sick forced me to depend on God’s strength for everything throughout the day.
I clearly heard God’s direction during the day. No, it wasn’t an audible voice, but I knew what He was saying.
I declined the opportunity later that night. Not forever, but for now. And I feel so much peace about it.
It’s not like I’m breaking any new ground here. Just go look at 2 Corinthians 12:9.
“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.”
I saw that very thing happen to me. Doing regular, daily tasks became much more difficult when I was sick. I physically couldn’t do a lot on my own strength. That meant I had to depend on God.
It would have been nice if I could have learned this lesson just by reading that verse above. But I seem to learn better through experience.
As I’m writing this, the makeshift trash bag next to my couch is full of used Kleenex and I could probably be mistaken for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The fever is gone, but I’m so tired.
And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.