Last year, I thought our family had sailed through the cold and flu season untouched, but then my daughter woke up with the full-blown flu. Recently, we dealt with all the COVID symptoms without a positive diagnosis as a family.
Instead of frustration or feeling defeated, God has been showing me that cold and flu seasons — and even COVID — are true spiritual opportunities.
What if this time is a chance to please the Spirit? What if wiping noses, catching throw up, and washing loads of dishes and germy laundry could bring an everlasting harvest? When you or your loved one wakes up with an illness and your day, month, or year gets rearranged as you sit at the doctor’s office or the hospital, it’s easy to be frustrated with ideas of what else you could have done to prevent this sickness. You start to ask “Why now?” and begin to wonder why your prayers for protection weren’t answered.
It’s easy for me to focus on how quickly to get back to health with prayer and medicine. I fight feelings of frustration and decision fatigue because I have to reorganize our lives and schedules.
But I’m realizing there is a process to healing and there’s also an opportunity for those who are the caregivers to bless those who are sick and be blessed by them.
I remember being sick as a kid, but I also remember when others cared. I remember my grandparents dropping off a VCR to hook up to our TV with VHS tapes of Mary Poppins and Pollyanna when I had my tonsils taken out. I remember my mom being patient and caring more for me than for her own schedule when I had bronchitis. I remember my friends calling to check on me when I got mono and how cool I thought I was since the telephone was usually for adults. I was being blessed through times of sickness that were really hard.
Those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone — especially to those in the family of faith.
Galatians 6:8-10 (NLT)
As I was straightening up my daughter’s bed covers to tuck her in, she looked at me with tired eyes. “Thank you for taking good care of me while I am sick. I love you, Mama.”
Her words made me realize that washing my hands raw, watching her favorite shows, making princess soup, cleaning every surface over and over, and reorganizing our lives is what love looks like. She and I both knew it, and she was feeling blessed even though she was still sick. She will remember being sick, but she will also recall the feelings of love.
So, I’m choosing not to complain. I’m watching the way God uses sickness to show us how He uses all things together for our good — even hard things — and I’m choosing not to become tired of doing good for her and myself. I know this cold and flu season and even living through a pandemic can be a blessing if I will let it.
How will you bless someone who is sick? Will you text or call them and tell them you’re praying for them? Will you offer to bring their favorite meal? Will you help those in your own home who need your love and patience? Don’t tire of doing good. You are reaping a harvest and pleasing the Holy Spirit with your active love.
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Marilyn Torres says
We see eye to eye! How I love when God teaches me something so personal and then confirms it. Thank you! My reorganizing of life is a constant with my precious son in the autism spectrum, my sweet daughter with ADHD & auditory processing disorder, and my mom in a nursing home due to a stroke. Life as I had scheduled it, seen it and organized it, is no more. However, it is a life far more precious and blessed than I could have imagined. Like you, I choose not to complain, I choose to serve and let God be glorified in who I serve, in me and in those that are watching. Yes, life as I had organized it, is no more, is better!!
Ruth Mills says
We moved my Dad-in-love to a rehab facility near us a 9 days ago. He tested positive for Covid so he immediately began isolation & we were instructed to lay low & be tested this past Sat. We celebrated negative rapid tests even though my husband had started feeling bad on Thursday. His symptoms got better each day returning to the office to work after the 5 day required work from home. Yesterday he got the DHEC call that his PCR was positive so another 5 day quarantine began. Fortunately my PCR was negative but because I’ve been exposed directly to one now testing positive I too am quarantined. Not what we’d planned but your post encourages us to look for God in the quarantine. The forced slow down surely has lessons & blessings included! Thank you for your timely words!
My always healthy mom is in the hospital with what they think is some kind of cancer, though they can’t find a primary site for it. She has lesions in three places in her spine with pathological fractures and mobility issues. A month ago she was still driving and living on her own, but once she is released from the hospital she will be coming to stay with me while, God willing, she recuperates and is able to go back to her “home”. I will soon be a caregiver to her, instead of her always taking care of me. I am asking God for guidance on how to do this, since I’ve never taken care of anyone who is ill in this manner. Thank you for this, it has helped immensely… Praying for her to be completely healed, as only HE can…
First off, thank you! My family all had Covid and if I’m honest it was the worst to care for my family myself and a puppy with 2 more dogs. If I had this reading at hand I would of done better I was yelling with frustration no one cared for me I was doing all the caring and all I can say is I feel horrible for that I love helping people but I do know when You are low the devil can grab you a bit faster to bring strife in our lives. I have learned my mistake and I have delt guilty I mean did I really let my family down screaming them because I was the only one doing anything to help. Did I let them see the ugly part of me or as it even me I wonder. I wake up today thankful God has shown me
What I do not want to be like when others suffer and the next time although I’d rather we never get sick I am going to thank God every second that I M
Help able to cook able to wash all the laundry able to grab medicine for someone else because there are people whom don’t have the ability to help another.
Thank you Father God for your wisdom,
Elizabeth (Betsy) Hall says
Yes, being a caregiver in your family is very disruptive. Also it is very needed. For 20 years I took care of others-I am a RN. I loved ti and it was not only a job but a ministry. Then things changed. I became the patient. I was diagnosed with Lupus. after the first year, I was able to work again. I was 26. Then a few years later the Lupus attacked organs. I tried to keep going, but just could not. I had 2 young boys to raise–my husband was long gone. My mother and best friend, became my caregiver–I thank God everyday for my parents. They were strong Christ followers- all their lives. Mom and dad lived about 45 minutes from us. She came and basically lived with us–I was on IV Nutrition and having to be in the hospital very often. There was no question about her doing what she did she was in her late 70’s. Thank God she was healthy but very petite. Oh, the years she came and took care not only me but my boys. Yes, it was inconvenient and hard work. But this was the greatest generation!! They expected to work hard.
She was amazing. I finally had surgery to implant a neurostimulator for my stomach. It did well, but there were still times I needed her. God is so wonderful to put people in our lives to care for our needs. Mom was my hero!!! She went home in 2014–so did my dad—they had been married 73 years and active in church up to the week before they went home. Thanks is not enough to say all they did for me and my boys!! God took them gently–I had prayed for that for years — for all they had done for me and my boys!
Beth Williams says
I rearranged my life for my parents. They had dementia & psych issues. I would go every Monday after work & check on them. Run errands, bring stuff & cook some if they needed it. After mom died I still checked on dad once a week. He moved into an assisted living at first it was once a week then more often. I finally quit my full time job to be more available. One day I was visiting dad at lunch. He was having trouble eating due to tremors (shaking). I asked him if I could feed him & he said yes. As I was feeding him the man on the right side said “you will get stars in your crown for this”. I felt like God was talking to me.
Then came time to help my in-laws. I would cook or gather food for them. I felt blessed that I could alleviate some of my MIL’s burdens. She was able to care for my FIL & take care of house. I was there for them until FIL died. Now I visit MIL & check on her some. Still cook occasionally. Now I use my spare time to volunteer with Loaves & Fishes food bank ministry. Nothing blesses my heart more than helping others. I will never tire of doing good. For I know in the end God will bless me richly. (he already has in many ways).