I am sick today. It is day four with a very sore throat. My sickness is not the worst today, but it’s also not the best.
Since early Tuesday morning I’ve had a gamut of symptoms from a red, hot, burning sore throat that would make me double over every time I swallow, to fever, body aches, and ear pain.
Day two, when it all seemed the worst, I wanted to whine for my troubles, but what does whining produce? Probably about the same thing as anger, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Thank you, James 1:20
Isn’t that why we whine? Because we are angry about having to go through something, because we feel we deserve to be exempt from this trial or temptation; we feel we have “better” things to do.
I wanted to whine then, and I wanted to whine today.
But, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119), and so I took every thought captive and made it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), remembering James’ words in the very second verse of his book, to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds”.
Count it all joy, he says.
So I counted it joy, and I smiled, speaking these words aloud.
I remembered the rest of this verse, for why do we count it all joy? Because we know “that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness [or perseverance]” (James 1:3). I will be more steadfast and perseverant, also patient, because I endured a trial. And the Lord knows I need sanctification!
- I need to be patient and steadfast when four blessed mouths cry “momma!”
- I need to be patient and steadfast when I feel like I can’t do one more thing, but many things must be done—diapers changed, infant nursed, babies rocked, children shepherded, meals cooked, dishes washed, husband respected, family loved.
- I need to be patient and steadfast when I have no help, because I do have help. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth.” Amen! *For the record, the good Lord sent my mother over on the hardest day, my husband is incredibly selfless, one friend gave me herbal advice, and another brought us dinner yesterday–God bless you all!
I do have things to do. And I am doing them. I am glad God is not in the business of “quitting too soon”. I am right here where God has placed me, and I am doing just what He wants me to do (except for the whining).
He wants me to be sick right now.
He wants me to reflect Christ through everything I do.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4) I want to be mature. How I long to shed my immaturities and be more Christ-like.
God wants me to be graceful in all circumstances. But I need circumstances which require grace in order to be filled with grace, don’t I?
When my six-year-old daughter came down with the sore throat, fever, and body aches, she looked to me. Would I give her the disparity of the world in my reactions and response? Or would I reflect the light of Christ? She knew she could trust my recommendations and sympathy because she saw me go through the same thing only hours before, and even at that moment.
I want to teach my children to be anxious for nothing (Phil. 4:6), to dwell in the shelter of the Most High (Psalm 91:1), and to take the peace He gives to us (John 14:27).
The only way to teach these things to my children (or anyone) is to live them out myself, that they may see grace flow out of my own being, contrary to the desires and sensations of my flesh, because I am tapped in to the Giver of Grace. May we draw our little ones closer to God by drawing closer ourselves.
Count it all joy….