And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blessings of Being Ill

Today I am ill. We all can relate to this. With aches, cough, and lack of energy I am pretty much at a stand still to other endeavors. Compounding the problems at hand I am also supposed to preach at a friend’s church in another state. Please don’t take me for a whiner; it is only the Nyquil talking.

After going to bed early, I awoke today somewhat rested. My first thoughts upon waking were how glad I am to have not pushed harder in getting things done yesterday. This incapacitation has caused me to slow down, forcing me to do a few things out of the ordinary that I count a blessing. These are things that I unfortunately often overlook in my self imposed business.

I found myself spending unobstructed time listening to God. It is odd that I so often have thought I was listening to God by reading, praying, and thinking. These are all good. But yesterday I had to simply be still. I often spend hours in Bible study, but here all other priorities and distractions were sequestered. In my darkened bedroom I simply relaxed and spent time reviewing promises of God. In this approach I clearly received an understanding of truth to be applied to several situations. Being still and not working fastidiously on the problems of the day proved to be a great experience. This is somehow going to have to become a new facet of my life.

When we look at blessings we are naturally being thankful. The outcropping of thankfulness I had yesterday for my daughter caring for me, for my wife laboring to supply me with food and drink and my boys being ever so quiet has imparted to me a season of thanksgiving. I am thankful we have medicines. That we have stores supplies with more than we need. Grateful I am for the technology of refrigeration for my ice cold juice and research that produced Nyquil. Thus I am reminded to pray for those crippled by the tsunami in Japan and for our forces fighting in Afghanistan. I am very grateful that several people have been praying for our family.

The third prominent blessing of being ill was I actually took a restful time to listen to music. I have become in the last two years a great fan of classical music. Many of the pieces have me envisioning the music as a backdrop score for biblical events. Gymnopedie No. 1 is a serene piece that has me meditating on the Lord being my shepherd. But I also spent time with one of my new favorites, the Together for the Gospel 08. It is a great collection of songs sung by about four thousand people all gathered to exalt God. By listening to “In Christ Alone” and “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” can find a person quickened in the soul to look with proper perspective on this world and that beyond. This alone is blessing enough.

Through this I realize, I was sick and did not know it. I am not referring to being physically ill. I was aching and lacking in spiritual energy. All this was being caused by too much world and not enough God. Thank you Lord, for allowing me this time of respite. May I learn and apply all that You have graciously allowed me to see.

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