“This cold is a good thing.” My doctor’s words confused my snot-filled brain.
This cold had hit me hard and fast. On Monday I felt fine at work. I came home to our sick kids and within an hour I was huddled on the couch in misery. What is it about the common cold that is so debilitating?!?
AGH. I could NOT afford to be sick this week. Huge meeting on Wednesday. Singing and playing keys on Thursday night and Sunday morning. Huge event on Saturday night. Sick kids who need my care. I don’t have time to be sick.
I was ten years old when my raging tonsils were removed. After that, all colds travelled to my lungs. Bronchitis stayed with me long after the colds were gone. Eventually I was diagnosed with asthma. As an adult I was put on a life-long daily dose of inhaled steroid. I’ve been taking this expensive medication for almost 15 years. Four months ago, my new doc took me off it. It took me a month to trust her and actually do it. In the past, when I have run out, I would have a chest infection within three days. Also, I’m not able to take cold medicines because I get high heart rate and palpitations. So I have to just let them run their course and run me down. Getting a common cold means I’m knocked out for about a month.
And so, here I am, terribly sick with a cold having been of the asthma meds for four months. I was worried.
“This cold is a good thing… because you can personally see that the treatment is working… your lungs are 100% clear!” My doc was right. This cold is a good thing!
We’re heading into our long Fall, Winter and Spring Cold & Flu season. Each year, even on the medicine, I would get several boughts of cold and flu.
This cold I’m battling now, that came to me at the end of summer, is a gift. A gift for me to see that my body is healing. A test to show that my immune system is so much stronger. This cold is giving me evidence that this treatment is worth it!
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. (1 Peter 1:7a NLT)
Humankind seems to be on a constant quest to avoid discomfort. When hard things come our way… we squirm. We question God. We wonder what we did to deserve it. We do everything we can to get away from it. We get mad. We get sad. We really hate pain.
My cold is reminding me that discipline and trials are gifts.
A 3rd-grade math exam is to test whether a student has mastered the content and is ready to take on the 4th-grade math. The student is not being punished. The student is being given a gift: the evidence that they have what it takes to move on to the next level. My cold is evidence that I can make it through the winter and that my expensive arduous treatment is actually healing my body!
The disciple and trials God allows into our lives are gifts. They help us see how far we’ve come. They show us how free we are from the past. They prepare us for what’s ahead.
Do bad things happen to good people? Yes. Is God punishing them? Is God good? Is God sovereign? As I walk through this chronic lyme craziness with my Father Yahweh, I am being tested in so many areas. Tested physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. Layers of fear are being peeled away. Life-long questions are being answered. My relationships are being stretched. My life joys are being boiled down to simple purity. I am being stripped down, fortified and rebuilt.
Oh terrible snotty, sore-throat cold. I really hate you but I’m grateful for you. God is so good.