Sunday, December 9, 2007

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day

You're probably all tired of hearing about me being sick, but I learned a lot of lessons during the two weeks I had nothing to do but stay in my bedroom and think. : )
I'll quit talking about it after this post!

When our family came down sick with a nasty flu virus in early November, I was about the fourth person to get sick. For most of the family, it lasted about one week - a fever of 103-104 and a headache and congestion, and a cough that hung on for more than a week. One by one, the others got well, and some of the others got sick and got well again.

Except for me.
I, who often manage to avoid getting the colds going around, just stayed sick. I got sick on Monday, and had lots of appointments scheduled throughout the week. I rescheduled most things for the weekend, assuming I'd be well enough to drag myself wherever I needed to go by Friday and Saturday. When the weekend came and I was still as sick as ever, I was still upbeat. I'd be well next week. So, I rescheduled my appointments for Tuesday.
I managed to count my blessings. I was glad this wasn't a stomach flu, and I thought of all the things that could be wrong with me, but weren't.

Tuesday came. My fever was still 103 and I felt no better. I rescheduled my appointments again and did all I could to get well for our Thanksgiving company, Abe and Ellie, and their kids who were supposed to be arriving the next day (Wednesday). I was sure I'd be out of bed by Thanksgiving Day. I couldn't help but be well by then. My other siblings were all bouncing around, cleaning and cooking and preparing for company.

Thanksgiving Day arrived... with my fever, aches, and cough. I managed to drag myself down and flop into the recliner and eat a few bites of turkey dinner. Everyone else was chattering happily and sampling pies when I miserably stumbled back up the stairs to bed. My headache had returned with a vengeance and I felt nauseous now, too. I wondered if it was because this was the first real food I had eaten in over a week.

Whatever the case, as the afternoon wore on and the laughter and gaiety floated up the stairs, all kinds of cross, miserable thoughts flitted across my stale, muddled brain. Why couldn't I just get well?? In my feverish misery I asked myself, When will this end? Maybe I never will get well... Maybe I'll just reschedule things week after week, ever following the illusion that someday I will be well....

Of course, in the back of my mind, I knew those thoughts weren't true, but it felt good to finally just give in to self-pity.

Then the words of the CD playing in the hall caught my attention -

Whither shall I go from Thy spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed
in hell, behold, Thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall Thy hand lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me. (Ps. 139)

God's hand is leading me here?
God is here with me?
Doesn't he want me there - being well again, serving Him?

No. God's hand has led me here.

I may not like it, but I can take His hand, and walk forward here,
not waiting to follow till I'm there - well again.

As I chose to focus on the Truth, I found myself praying for several friends of ours whose situations made mine seem really trivial and silly. And by the time I finished interceding on their behalf, I had a new attitude - one of deep gratitude!

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