(or whatever you want to call it)
By Donna Tobin Smith
Scrubbing, mopping, spraying disinfectant. Scrubbing, mopping, spraying disinfectant…
Our house had been hit with the flu bug and it seemed that I was the last man standing. Well, our youngest son was still standing, too, but for the most part he was holed up in his room, trying to avoid the invisible germs that were hovering in our house. I had taken the flu shot in the early fall, but from the reports on the nightly news, I knew that I was only approximately 36% protected from one of the nasty influenza strains that was lurking around every corner.
I hoped that I hadn’t been the carrier of the flu that settled in our home, but working in a high school lab every day sure wasn’t a neutral zone, either. The absentee list was long and the students that were coming to school often brought their sneezes and lingering coughs with them.
The teachers that I worked with were armed with cans of disinfectant spray, too, wiping tables and chairs after every class. The ladies who supervise the lab constantly carried plastic containers of disinfectant wipes, cleaning computer keyboards, light switches, and door handles throughout the day. Huge containers of hand sanitizer emptied as teachers and students alike pumped every time they passed them.
Yet the sickness remained. No matter how much we cleaned, scrubbed, mopped, and sprayed, the sickness remained.
After cleaning and scrubbing for two solid weeks at home, the sickness didn’t go away, either. Finally, I coaxed and carried our sick one to the doctor. The doctor prescribed powerful medicine and hopefully, our sick one is now well on his way to recovery.
There is no doubt that clean living is necessary to keep the bad germs away. But sometimes no matter how clean we live, no matter how faithfully we serve, no matter how dedicated our lives are to the Lord, we are knocked to our knees by sickness that wracks our bodies or our minds and we can’t recover on our own. Sometimes we are knocked so hard that, without the Lord’s divine intervention, we will never recover. And sometimes, yes, sometimes, it is His perfect will to take some of us on to our heavenly home for His eternal heavenly healing that we could never experience on earth.
But don’t think of that as failure if you are a Christian. In the ninth chapter of John, the Bible tells the story of a man whose eyes were “sick.” It is about the encounter that Jesus’ disciples had with a man blind from birth and the question that they asked Jesus about his condition. “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” (John 9:2-3)
I love these words of Jesus and I believe them with all my heart. I have also dealt with a sickness for the past 26 years and it is only with the Lord’s mighty power in my life that I see my affliction from a heavenly perspective.
Are you sick today? Are you suffering from a temporary setback or an incurable disease that no amount of clean living can cure?
Then pray with all your might that the works of God might be displayed in you. Even from your sick bed, people see your strength. They see your faithfulness. This may be the season that God is calling you to be His most faithful prayer warrior as you intervene in the lives of others for His glory.
As the old saying goes, cleanliness may very well be next to Godliness. But in sickness and in health, there is no doubt that faithfulness will win out every time.