I want to begin by offering a word of thanks to many of you who called, emailed and mentioned in passing, that you’ve missed my article. Your kindness compels me to give a brief explanation of why I’ve missed submitting an article for the last two weeks.
To begin with, I experienced a bit of a physical problem that, while not life-threatening, certainly impacted both my professional inertia and personal energy. In addition, I had to be out of town for six days. These two together led to my requesting the editor of the Stettler Independent for a two-week break, which he kindly granted.
In retrospect, I’ve been contemplating the matter of health…and it’s unpleasant counterpart, illness. It’s quite a personal matter, isn’t it?
Some years ago, I recognized that it would be presumptuous and impractical to assume that I would always experience good health. On the basis of that consideration, I amended my prayer and praise practices somewhat. Instead of asking for good health, I began praying that God would grant me the degree of health that would best glorify Him. In addition, I’ve endeavored to praise Him daily for the health and energy that He provides.
My amended petition and praise regimen has served me relatively well. However, it doesn’t take very much in the way of illness to remind me that I’m not as thankful for the healthy days as I ought to be. During those few days that I wasn’t feeling well, I rededicated myself to being sincerely thankful for those days of good health.
Nevertheless, it seems that the primary sign of our returning to full health is quite simply to take that renewed condition for granted! And while I am trying not to take feeling well for granted, I’m almost there…again!
Health problems, even minor ones, can bring a significant amount of stress. Illness is capable of generating some pretty intense emotions; fear, depression, loneliness and even anger. On the other hand, experiencing illness can increase our concern and empathy for others with health issues. Consequently, we may become more effective in providing support and encouragement to those facing physical illness.
Finally, a little downtime, while seldom enjoyable, can be a learning time. Blaise Pascal, while functioning from more of a negative perspective than mine, made the following profound prayer about his illness. “Thou hast given me health that I might serve Thee, and I have profaned it; now Thou dost send me illness to correct my ways: do not permit me to use it to anger Thee by my impatience. I have misused my health, and Thou hast justly punished me for it; do not allow me to misuse thy punishment.”
“I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually” (3 John 2).