“Health is the greatest of God's gifts, but we take it for granted; yet it hangs on a thread as fine as a spider's web and the tiniest thing can make it snap, leaving the strongest of us helpless in an instant. And in that instant hope is our protector.”
― Jennifer Worth, Shadows of the Workhouse
Recently I got hooked on a popular BBC show: Call the Midwife. Opening an episode in the first season is the quote mentioned above. On one hand I agree. Last Monday began with grocery shopping, a walk through town, playing with my children and hosting two dinner guests. I wrapped up my day on Skype with a dear friend who lives a whole continent away. I ended that conversation feeling strange and 20 minutes later I knew why. My health suddenly snapped and I was thrown into a stomach flu that lasted three days. I would have never seen it coming, but sometimes that is how sickness is, it blindsides us. It is fragile.
Ms. Worth also says health is the greatest of God’s gifts, but I have to disagree. God has promised us His grace through Christ. This, my sisters, is the greatest gift! One of the first people to show me this is Julie, a mentor of mine from early high school. Julie, at only 39 years old, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Each time I visited Julie, she asked how she could pray for me. Although Julie went to be with Jesus at only 41, her legacy of prayer stays with me. She showed me that even though our health can be taken from us, our faith cannot. I desire to have God redeem the time I spend sick communing with the One who heals both body and spirit.
As cold and flu season approaches, here are some practical ways you can continue to meet with Jesus and minister to others.
Pray. As we go about normal days, it can be hard to have uninterrupted time of prayer. Laying in bed gives you plenty of time to connect with God and pray for others. Pray for your family, husband and children (if you have them), friends, pastor, country’s leader, boss, etc.
Read. If you are able, read your Bible. You may also want to treat yourself to a good Christian book on Kindle to read while sick.
Listen. Audible and YouTube have several audio Bibles, along with other encouraging literature. If you are unable to read, listening can center your heart and mind on Christ. You can also worship Him by listening to sermons or worship music.
Communicate. I have to admit FaceBook is what I am drawn to when I’m in bed. It is easy to spend hours just scrolling. As my husband Josh says, “That’s soul-crushing”. You can use social media to ask for prayer for yourself, which is fine. However, many times I do this but it’s because I’m lonely and just want company! If you do choose to get on social media, a good idea would be to contact a few people and ask how you can pray for them. You could also write a letter or if you feel up to talking, call a friend. It speaks loudly to care for someone else when you are hurting.
I’m praying for your health as I write this. I also pray for you in sickness, for Him to minister to you and use you. So in that instant when the tiniest thing makes your health snap, you will allow the Hope of Jesus to be your protector and trust in His love and care for you. And trust Him to redeem that time.
Taylor has lived over half her life desiring to know God and make Him known. She is the wife to Josh Irby and the mother to four beautiful children. She lives in Bosnia working with college students and young moms. She loves creating art and music and teaching her children piano. You can read more on her blog: Irby Road.
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