Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reminders from the Stomach Flu

This week we were hit with the dreaded stomach virus. Matt got it first- Sunday and Monday. Then, almost suddenly Tuesday afternoon, I had it. As I lay in bed wishing the sickness were over, I started thinking about what God was showing me through being sick. He gave me fresh reminders of three precious things.

1. I am blessed with my sweet husband. 
Matt served me joyfully and selflessly while I was sick. He gave up times of study to help with our little Annie. He was constantly looking for ways to help me- whether it was by refilling my water bottle with fresh, cold water or making a Kroger run for Gatorade and popsicles. He sat on the bathroom floor with me and held my hand during the horrible moments when I was throwing up. And he cleaned up after for me. I am so blessed to have a husband who serves me and loves me as he does.

(Eph. 5) 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 

2. I am very weak. 
I feel like this last week before the sickness, I had been feeling especially self-sufficient. We've been trying to eat healthier while sticking to our food budget. So I've been making homemade whole wheat bread, culturing our own yogurt, pouring over recipe books and trying new meals, writing monthly meal plans, etc. I've also been able to get Annie on more of a schedule which has freed me up to have a little more time to do some deep spring cleaning, get some overdo laundry done, finally wash all of our sheets and pillowcases, and work on a few other projects, which have felt so good to get done! And having a bit more of a routine to our day, with Annie's naps and feedings and dinner times with Matt, has made me feel like I can better know what our days hold in store for us. Things seemed under-control and predictable- and then, in a moment, I realized how weak I really am. In the morning, I was preparing a home-cooked meal and working on Mother's Day gifts, and in the late afternoon, I was kneeling on the floor in front of a bowl, crying and completely overtaken by sickness. I was reminded that I am very, very weak. My life on this earth is like dust, like the rapidly fleeting blades of grass. But God is everlasting to everlasting. And He has compassion on His children.

(Psalm 103)

13As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

3. There will be no more sickness in Heaven. 
Yes! I cannot wait for this truth to be reality. I think this is the first time I have really thought about eternity during a time of sickness, but the last few days, it has been so joyful to think about. There will be no more sickness, no more tears, no more tummy pains, no more headaches, no more fevers, no more little babies getting sick, no more worrying about the next time we will get sick- no more sickness at all! We will be fully joyful, enjoying Jesus forever. This truth has been even more precious to think about as we have been following the blog of a family in our church struggling with cancer. Their hope in God and in His sovereignty and in eternity have been powerfully challenging and encouraging. Sickness on this earth is a reminder of sin and death, but, as believers, we have the promise of a new bodies and the hope of Heaven to be reminded of.

(Romans 8) 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

It might have been nice to not have to go through the tummy pains and fevers, but I am thankful for how God used them to remind me of these things. He is kind even in sickness. Or I might say especially in sickness. 

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