Monday, March 14, 2011

What it takes

Psalmcat 52:3.14.11

During two weeks of what seemed like futile efforts in battling a cold, sinus congestion, allergies or whatever, I sometimes found myself wondering: What's it going to take to get over this?

Well, I finally feel better, and a few thoughts come to mind.

Time. This was probably the most crucial thing. Lots of experts say this, but people including myself often don't accept it. I drive myself nuts trying to find the right combination of rest, food, over-the-counter drugs and wondering whether I should go to the doctor or just let it run its course. I did the best I could with those things, but I think it was the passage of time that contributed the most to healing.

Hope. Many, many mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights I found myself thinking I was feeling better. I was so determined to keep a good attitude. And I think that does help in the long run, even though it also may have hurt in some short terms, as I kept heading on to work ("I don't feel THAT bad") instead of staying home to rest the fourth and fifth days. Instead, I waited until the weekend, and I ended up spending three days in bed. In those days, hope dimmed noticeably, but it didn't fade away. And now what I had hoped for has come to fruition.

Rest. I always know this is essential, but I try so hard to work in the adequate rest for healing while still being able to go to work. Maybe this time I will learn. On Thursday at work, I was sure I shouldn't be there, but I didn't go home. The next day, I thought I felt better and went back to work. And within a couple of hours, I knew I shouldn't be there again, but I still kept working. That's what led to a Saturday through Monday in bed. And I think that was essential to eventually getting better. And I also think I might have gotten better sooner if I'd stayed home in bed sooner.

Water. I typically drink a lot of water, but when it comes to clearing this congestion up, I needed to drink even more. And now that I'm better, I need to keep drinking plenty of water. I'm reminded of this when I feel little residual sensations in my nose or throat. (Time for a gulp now!)

Encouragement. I feel like a wimp when I'm sick, and I'd prefer people not even know. I don't want to draw pity. But I cannot discount the healing power of the prayers and encouraging words and support and unconditional love of family and friends when I'm honest about what's going on with me.

Prayer. Pray without ceasing, in the good times and the bad, even when answers don't seem forthcoming. And of course, I couldn't just pray for myself. All that time in bed, much of it unable to sleep, gave me many opportunities to lift up family, friends and concerns at large to the care of the Almighty God.

Faith. Between my Disciple Bible Study readings and my daily readings from Beth Moore's "Praying God's Word Day by Day," I've been reminded of an element of answered prayer that I'm not sure I'd ever even realized. As Beth put it on March 1 (day 2 of my misery), "Whether or not we like the concept, Christ loves to respond to us according to our faith." And then she included examples in the Gospels where people expressed their faith before they were healed. As Beth says, "Lord, I want to be like the one to whom You said, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.' (Matt. 15:28) Flourish this kind of faith in me, God!"

As usual, there are more things I could add, but I'm out of time. I'm just grateful and relieved to finally feel better. I continue to praise and thank God for His many blessings, including the love, support and encouragement of so many people in my life.

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