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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