What is the pondering of my heart on this first day of a new year? It occurs to me that in the past 2-3 weeks, I have had a number of friends or children of friends who’ve been sick. It seems as if Christmas Day found me praying for a number of small children who spent the bulk of their day in the emergency room. In fact, we ourselves spent a significant (to me, at least) portion of October and November passing something through the house—twice. I learned a few things while on my own sick bed.
As saints of God, The first thing we must consider is that illnesses are sometimes not about us, but about assignments sent from the enemy to slow us down. Rarely do illnesses come when we are resting; instead, when we are at our busiest, and often feeling as if we’ve accomplished much, our strength is zapped and we must give way to the limitations of this flesh. Sickness is a distraction, taking in our total focus, and also potentially giving way to other sly tricks of the enemy—self-pity and self-absorption. In our admittance of how bad we feel, we forget that we serve a God who is bigger than whatever we face, and the holes in our faith are revealed.
‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ Ephesians 6:12.
Having said that, God allows sickness. While on our backs, we have time. Our task becomes how to use the time we have.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12
How do we spend our mental energy while our bodies heal? We are given so many opportunities to talk to God, to listen and to hear His will for our lives, and this is one of them. Yet Facebook is far more fun. Television is much more entertaining. That phone conversation that gives new life to our pity party practically calls itself. To be sure, we don’t have to spend each resting moment doing something “spiritual;” I believe God gives us personality and character that likes to indulge and develop itself in different ways, not all of which are bad. Yet, if we are to be good stewards, and to number our days, recuperating time must also become restoring time. Every fever we nurse, every nose we wipe is an opportunity to increase our faith and drawer nearer to the Father.
Finally, brothers and sisters in Christ, healing requires action of the mind and of the body. The most important thing is to see ourselves well.
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17
Abraham reminds us in this Word who God is, and we need to tell our illness who God is. More than that, we need to touch and agree with others who will pray as to who God is in the midst of our situations. As a personal example, I am learning to get past saying to people, “I’ll be praying for you;” too often, by the time several hours go by and the day brings its own challenges, I forget! So I am learning to stop and pray right in the moment. I must have typed out ‘by His stripes [he/she] was healed’ enough times for my fingers to move in my sleep.
Once we begin to visualize ourselves healed, we also need to exercise practical wisdom. I know this weather has been horrid in some parts of the country, and for us, some of our household resulted from a husband who would become ill while traveling through tens of degrees of weather changes overnight. You may also be in a situation where life forces you to be out and about. Yet, for those of us who have more flexibility in our schedule, we need to be prudent about staying indoors as much as we can when the weather is not helping us stay well. Likewise, we need to exercise wisdom about eating to combat illness before illness comes. Finally, my friends, we need to clean. Yes, I said it: CLEAN. Something as simple as washing our hair or changing bed linens can speed up the recuperation process. Don’t even get me started on waashing our hands; even our hugs and touching to agree in prayer needs to be covered under the Blood. Similarly, cleaning kitchen counters, sinks, doorknobs, and other places that pick up germs can be instrumental to the health and welfare of our homes. You might check out more on that idea here and here.
I have, and I will, continue to pray,dear friends. While you get back on your feet, ask for wisdom, and know that all things–even that fever or flu bug–are working for your good (Romans8:28).