Lessons from the "sick bed"

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
— Ephesians 5:20 ESV

Nursing a cold, I was doing my best to "give thanks" yesterday morning. I began to think about all the reasons I have to be grateful even in the midst of my sickness (which in itself is quite frustrating). Here is what I thought:

  • While I battle sickness, God never grows tired or weary.  Isaiah 40:28
  • My sickness enables me to see the kindness of people played out on the stage of my life. Ephesians 4:32
  • My sickness reminds me that life is not about me. I need that. Daniel 4:35
  • My sickness reminds me of the faithful love of my wife. Tuesday night she slept on the couch so I could get a good night's sleep. Chivalry reborn! Last night, I slept on the couch.
  • Sickness necessitates a slower pace, which in itself is a gift.
  • My sickness is an opportunity to watch God cover missed appointments and to trust him for work that still needs to be done.
  • My sickness challenges me to ask God for healing when I know that generally these things have to work their course. James 4:2-3
  • Sickness gives me time to think.
  • Sickness gives me time to reflect.
  • Sickness brings forced time to relax.
  • Sickness grows my empathy muscle.
  • Sickness grows my perseverance muscle.

Thanksgiving was a powerful medicine. I found my duty to "give thanks" being transformed into devotion and praise.

If I really do live under the sovereignty God, if in him I really do live and move and have my being (Acts 17:28), if he really is holding together all the pieces of this universe including mine (Colossians 1:17), if I really can count on him to work everything together for my good (Romans 8:28), and if I can really trust him to freely give me all things (Romans 8:31-32), then I really can:

  1. Give thanks for my sickness.
  2. Ask him to heal me.
  3. Rest in his goodness even while enduring a stuffy nose and hacking cough.

My sickness does not diminish God's faithfulness, kindness, power, goodness, or love. In fact, as I give thanks, my sickness only magnifies his presence in my life.

Thanksgiving is powerful medicine, but I don't need a sick day to enjoy its healing balm. In sickness or in health: God is faithful all the time. God is kind all the time. God is powerful all the time. God is good all the time. God is loving all the time.

God is in control all the time. Give thanks!