I am taking a moment to acknowledge the beauty of life after being down in the depths. Life is good, y’all.
I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.*
Here’s what I remember from Wednesday night when I was so sick: I was hugging the porcelain throne and my body was rejecting every atom of foreign material and I could hardly breathe before another wave hit me. My soul took over and, between gasps, I kept choking out the words “God made this.” What I meant was this: God made my body such a perfect machine that it has a built-in reboot function when danger approaches. When a virus invades, my body knows what to do and does it in a beautifully vehement way. I collapsed in bed, with tears soaking my pillow, and still found the breath to praise God. I whispered over and over, “Thank you, God.” And I meant it with every part of my sick being.
Thank you, God, for never leaving me. Thank you for giving me sleep so my body can repair itself. Thank you for making bodies in such an intricate way. Thank you for always giving us a way out.
Thursday and Friday were an improvement compared to Wednesday, but I still felt off and pretty gross. Then I woke this morning and felt like the sun had risen just for me. Dan felt it too; this is the first day in almost a week that he’s been able to move his body without searing pain.
In the grand scheme of things, a back ache and a stomach virus aren’t huge life changers. I know that. I don’t mean to compare our little ailments to some of the devastation going on in the world (tsunamis, cancers, divorces, grief). But I do know this: when you go through darkness and then come back into the light, it isn’t just the brightness that has changed. Your soul feels cleaner and stronger and more appreciative of all the blessings that you do have. You are compelled to stop in your tracks, gaze at the world, and thank your Maker for the gifts of darkness AND light.
*Not my words! Paul wrote this while he was in prison around 62 A.D. Yes, prison! In darkness, he acknowledged the Light and never stopped doing so. May we never stop, either. (The verse is from The Message, Philippians 4:12-13.)