4 Things to be Thankful for in the Midst of Sickness

There is weariness I've experienced this season, because it seems like every other week since September, someone has been sick in our house.  This is mostly due to the fact that we have 3 very young children, 2 of which have yet to understand the concept of keeping their hands out of their mouth.  Not to mention, keeping things from passing around our own family is extremely difficult.  Gabe and Cal share everything, and even when I'm super intentional about keeping cups and pacis straight, they will just swap behind my back.  Sickness is just going to happen.  There is no way around it.

The hardest thing about sickness, however, is my own heart.  When myself, my husband, or my kids are sick, it's really easy for me to moan and groan.  It's one area where the discomfort and stress overwhelm me, and most of my thoughts turn to complaining instead of praise.  This is frustrating, because deep down, I want to be able to approach each life circumstance with a spirit of thanksgiving and humble acceptance of God's sovereign plan.  So I'm sharing these reasons today, because I need to hear them.  I need to be reminded that there are reasons to praise in the midst of throw up, dozens of dirty diapers, runny noses, and fevers.  And being that we are getting ready to go into family settings where germs are bound to be passed, I need to get my heart ready to joyfully endure whatever comes our way.

Here are a few lessons I'm trying to take to heart in the midst of this never-ending-ridiculously-cold-sickly-winter:
1.  I'm thankful that we are healthy most of the time.
When I (or my husband or my kids) feels sick, it's the worst...we boo hoo about it, but honestly, when someone is throwing up again, all I have to do is remind myself that it is going to pass.  Then I sit and think, "what if this was our 'normal' everyday life due to a medical problem or treatment?"  I wonder, "what would life be like if one of our children had an ongoing illness, and not just a virus?"  These short bouts of sickness really do remind me to be VERY thankful that some stomach bugs and low fevers are all we have to worry about.  There are much worse and life altering medical issues we could be dealing with.

2.  I'm thankful that God made our bodies to heal themselves.
In my opinion, throwing up is one of the worst physical feelings....maybe second only to labor pains.  Not to speak of the discomfort that comes from chills, fevers or body aches.  But honestly, they serve a great purpose.  God did a miraculous job creating our immune systems to know how to fight off normal illnesses successfully.  If he didn't make our bodies in a way that caused us to throw up when we got sick, they might be overcome by the virus.  He is a God of restoration, and although it's sometimes uncomfortable, I'm thankful that usually, our bodies DO restore themselves instead of giving over to death.

3.  I'm thankful for the reminder that I'm not in control.
You know what happens when I'm feeling sick?  Nothing.  I'm weak, powerless, and stuck in bed.  I tend to think I'm pretty put together and self-sufficient, but all it takes is a few measly germs to totally hinder my ability to even complete simple tasks.  We are so fragile, and it's amazing that for as 'in control' as we think we are, all of our plans can be instantly affected by illness.  And although we can support our body in it's healing, we are powerless to just 'end' our own suffering.  What a good reminder that God is sovereign, and only because of his grace are we able to function day after day.

4.  I'm thankful that sickness will not exist for believers in eternity.
The bible says that someday, His children will experience no more sickness, death, or pain.  So illness might be dominating now, but after this life, that will NEVER happen again for all of eternity.  I am reminded that on this Earth where sin and death exist, my body is in a constant state of decay.  But because I have faith in Christ, this will not always be, and someday I will experience final restoration.  Praise God!

It's pretty hard to feel thankful when sickness is hanging around, but the bible compels me to...
  • "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good..." Psalm 107:1
  • "...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father..." Ephesians 5:20
There are a TON of verses spurring us on towards an attitude of thanksgiving in all things.  I don't know about you, but I'm a poster-child for wanting God to just release me from tough circumstances instead of trusting his purposes in the midst of them.  So this winter, I'm learning to say, "Thank you God for how you reveal your glory in sickness, please achieve your purposes in and through even this."  Amen!
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