It is 3:05pm, and I am just having my first cup of coffee.
As many of you know, our family has had a rough six weeks of getting virus after virus. Levi is the only one who remained relatively unscathed, skidding through with nothing more than a sore throat and niggling cough. Until last night, when a tummy bug hit us all pretty hard, but was thankfully short-lived. Still, it hit at night. While we were supposed to be sleeping.
I didn’t do much of that. Instead, I spent half the night working with Levi to bathe two pukey kids, remove pukey sheets, and try to hunt down clean blankets to replace the puked-on ones.
We have an abundance of blankets in our house, but between getting hit by virus after virus for the past six weeks, and a cat with a tendency to pee on things, we’re fresh out.
I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, trying to ignore the nauseous feeling in my stomach, and on pins and needles listening for any more vomit eruptions coming from the rooms next to us.
At least our two oldest make it to the toilet now – it’s only the two youngest who have yet to master that vital life skill. It’s so much easier to minister with nothing but a cool cloth and whispered assurances than to clean anything (let alone regurgitated dinner) in the bleary-eyed middle-of-the-night state I was in.
Am I really blogging about vomit?
Yes. Yes I am. I apologize.
It’s just that I am so very tired of being sick. Just as we all begin to really feel well, something else hits. It’s been like that for so many families of our acquaintance lately. I think everyone has had a rough winter where this is concerned. Everything we’ve had has gone around every circle I belong to. It’s gotten quite ridiculous. A few friends of mine have theorized that these viruses are being passed around via Facebook.
It’s incredibly hard to maintain any kind of godly, grateful attitude about any of it.
A few things dawned on me the last time I was sick. Things that I’m certain only apply to me, myself, and I, so don’t take this as me telling you how you should feel about whatever you’re handling at the moment. Also, pardon me for any rambling. I blame the late coffee.
God is sifting me, showing me some gaping holes in my walk.
God can use even microbes to reveal me to myself. That self is not entirely…mature about this whole thing. I have thrown more pity-parties in the past six weeks than I have in the past year, I think.
You may think I’m over-spiritualizing things, but I don’t think so. It’s hard to explain, unless you’ve been there. There’s never a doubt when God speaks. It’s like labor – you may have a few false alarms, but when the real thing starts, you KNOW.
Through these illnesses, I’ve been forced away from my mainstay of spiritual nourishment – my home church – and have found that I have left myself nothing else to stand on, whatsoever. Godly conviction is growing in my mind. Conviction I don’t really want to give full voice to, here on this blog, for fear that I will overstep my bounds and assume I know what God is asking me. I know the parameters. I know the first step. I just have to take it.
That abundance of blankets I spoke of earlier? They have created a veritable mountain of colorfully soft stinky-ness in my hallway. A mountain that will only be conquered one blanket at a time, probably for days, before it is diminished to nothing. I look at it and sigh, anticipating the length of time it’s going to take to make any visible progress.
This conviction I carry is like that. I look at it and think, “Why bother? I’m only going to fail again”. Then, I realize that God is not asking me for forever. He’s only asking me for today.
Still, even today is hard. Even today feels mountainous all by itself. A mountain that will only be conquered one step, one prayer, one simple act of faith at a time, until it is diminished to nothing in the day I finally stand face-to-face with the God who held me the whole way.
I praise God that it is He who is working in me. It is He who has allowed us to be laid out in sickness, for His good purpose. I don’t claim to know the whole purpose, but I know enough to see that part of it lies in His desire to see me grow, to become more like Him. To see me take action on a conviction that has been growing in me for a year. To reassure me that He’s not finished with me.
He’s not asking anything of me that He hasn’t asked of each of his children before:
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. …May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 23-24 (NIV – emphasis mine)
I’m so glad I serve a faithful God, who loves me enough to discipline me and get my attention (even if said discipline pretty much sucked). Who loves me enough to remind me of what His will is for me. Who loves me enough to ask all this of me, then pours out His grace by telling me that He will take on the largest part of the burden, and do His will in me and through me. All I have to do is choose joy, prayer, and gratitude.
I can manage that. After all, the Holy Spirit lives within me, and with God, nothing is impossible.
I see a mountain crumbling.
What is God teaching you lately? What mountains are you facing? How can I pray for you?