As I've shared before, I've been sick, sick, sick. I'm finally starting to feel better so I am going to make up for all the words I didn't blog by writing a long one. Although it's a long entry, it will be worth it.
The week before Christmas is one of the busiest weeks for the life of the pastor. And since Tuesday, I’ve been in bed sick as a dog, and in fact just now starting to feel better. But I was in bed from Tuesday until Friday evening going from freezing cold where I had on my Micheline man Russia down jacket with gloves and the hat – the first time my son Kaleb saw me walk out like that he did a double take and started laughing as he was sitting in his shorts and a t-shirt in one of our 70 degree December days, to super hot, where I was in shorts and a t-shirt.
Where my head felt like I had a sledge-hammer just hammering away inside my head.
Where my throat felt like it was on fire – where it hurt so much to swallow that I didn’t eat for pretty much Tuesday to Friday (my wife really knew I was sick when I wasn’t eating).
My joints and bones were aching, and when I couldn’t stop coughing.
And the worst part of it was, I couldn’t sleep all those days. I was so tired! But I couldn’t sleep because I was either putting layers upon layers of clothes on, to only take them all off, while trying not to swallow my spit because it hurt so much, as my head was pounding, and every time I coughed my head exploded in pain, my throat felt like a bomb went off, and my joints screamed in pain. So no matter how tired I was I couldn’t fall asleep!
Finally, after days of hearing my wife tell me I should go see the doctor, I finally broke down on Friday after not eating and sleeping since Tuesday and went to go see the doctor. Sure enough. I had strep throat. And it was bad. You know my tonsils were all swollen and oozing (puss) and stuff. I had it bad. First time too.
So, whoever was kind enough to give me this thing better keep your guard up because I’ll strep throat germ all over you and your family!
Just kidding. That’s what my pre-Christian James would have wanted to do. But I am a much kinder and gentler James now that Jesus is my Lord and Savior – so whoever you are, you better be thanking Jesus that I am a Christian!
Let me share with you my illness reflection.
Why in the world did I wait so long to go see the doctor when this is so easily treatable? I could have avoided so much misery – my family too. You think Helen did much sleeping during those three nights? So why didn’t I go see the doctor to begin with? Because I thought I could beat it, like I beat other flues and illnesses (the real word for this is pride – but it sounds better if I say it the other way). It was my pride.
And the other reason is because I hate waiting in the doctor’s office. They make you wait in the waiting room, and the they make you wait in the patient room, then the nurse comes and checks your vitals, and then they make you wait for the doctor, and they make you wait. I hate that.
But you know what? Both of those reasons are stupid. You know pride is stupid. And the hate to wait part – what so waiting and suffering at home is better than getting the shots and the medicines to get well?
I started feeling better by that afternoon after the shots. I could have avoided that whole thing.
And here’s the thing – that’s so much like how we are with God. If we would just turn to God and do what God tells us to do and forget all this stupid pride stuff and whatever other lame excuse stuff we’ve got and just follow Him, we could avoid so much misery. God’s got the cure for whatever is ailing you, and He can fix you right up, if you’d just do life His way.
And here's the best part. This whole God thing comes with a guarantee. If you don't like what God’s new transformed life looks like, you can have your old miserable one back any time you want.