If you are like me, you rarely get sick enough to contemplate the lessons sickness brings. As women, we are usually challenged and stretched from taking care of sick kids or family members – but those lessons are not the same as what comes with actually being the one that goes down.
Since succumbing to sickness is rare, you may not find this blog post all that helpful…yet. But one day, you will go down. When that happens, I hope this read will provide the fast track to being reminded of some simple, yet helpful truths.
Lesson #1 We should be thankful for our health!
This sounds quite obvious, and perhaps, a little cliche. But when you are feeling lousy, you realize you truly have it good most of the time! God has made our bodies pretty amazing, and we seldom give him the credit he deserves for a working body.
Our body contains something like 70+ organs, 200+ bones, and 600+ muscles. Most of the time we barely notice any of them because they all work so well. Sickness reminds us that this does not have to be the case. We could hurt all over all the time, and we don’t… & for that, we should be grateful.
Lesson #2: Personal Pain Breeds Compassion
For some people, physical pain is their mode of operation. When you and I have a few days of sickness, we realize pain ain’t easy! We often give lip service to feeling sorry for people with severe illnesses; But, when we get a small taste of it, we can begin to imagine how hard it is to live in a constant state of poor health. Hence, our compassion should grow.
Furthermore, when we deal with sickness, we realize when other people deal with sickness, they are not necessarily being dramatic and wimpy. Maybe this only applies to some of us – but you know who you are: you hear people are sick, you don’t care all that much, and you think sick people should suck it up. Clearly, some sick people do try and “milk it.” However, when you personally get hit hard with an illness you realize it’s possible other people have been hit hard too. Our own experience with sickness helps us comprehend why some people seem miserable (it’s not always because they want people to baby them).
May our own (short-lived) misery turn us into more compassionate people.
Lesson #3 Appreciation for Work
When I got hit with sickness this last year, I can’t tell you how thankful I was to cook dinner for my family when I recovered! Or how wonderful it felt to vacuum the filthy floors. Oh the joy I found in walking around the house and picking up messes!
Typically, those feel like tasks that just busy a day. But when the capacity to do them is taken away, you realize those are things you should be thankful you can do.
Work is good. In fact, God created work before sin entered the world. Thus, it makes sense to appreciate the ability to do what we were made to do.
Gratitude for the ability to work is difficult to maintain. Especially when you feel like there are more chores than there’s time for. But succumb to a rough sickness, and you will be reminded that the ability to move and accomplish things, and serve people, and finish tasks, is a gift from God.
Hopefully, you don’t have to learn these lessons anytime soon. But on the other hand, I am glad I recently got to increase my gratitude, compassion, and perspective. So maybe I do hope you get sick soon. Sort of.