I am sick.
And I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Seriously it's like my immune system has decided to forget how to function properly. I bet I've had about 9 or 10 different sicknesses in the last 5 months.
When I get sick, I get whiny, as I'm led to believe most men do. I also want nothing to do with human contact. I prefer to sit in my bed, or the couch, and have literally no contact with homo sapiens. Don't touch me, don't tend to me, don't ask me how I feel, just leave me be. Well, on second thought, maybe bring me some soup or something?
This has me thinking about my relationship with God when I'm sick. What does craving intimacy with God look like amidst sickness? What does "walking in the Spirit" look like while ill? How can I make my life count for something, all while running a fever?
I'm not sure I have a great answer for this, but I can share where I think I've landed in the process.
I really believe that a huge part of our intimacy with God, and thus ultimately our impact on the world, has to do with us just showing up. Talking about our deep need to meet with God every single day is somehow both overly emphasized and neglected at the same time.
We hear often of the need to daily connect with God, or have our quiet-times, or our devotionals, or our date night with Jesus or whatever you'd like to call it. But we also seem to brush that suggestion aside as a simple life-principle that will help us. Have quiet-times with the Lord regularly, the thought goes, and you'll be a good christian.
But we run from that thinking because we don't ever want to be legalists. Have you had a quiet-time today? No? Oh, it's ok, remember you're saved by grace -- freely! -- and so you don't need to worry about skipping some days. We don't want our quiet-times to determine who are are now do we?
So when we're sick, we just excuse ourselves from any sort of discipline anymore. Feeling bad? Oh, don't worry, just lay around in bed and watch movies all day. There is always tomorrow.
Yet I believe that it is in the midst of these moments when our true character is often formed. To faithfully pursue God in his word, to attend to him in prayer, and to invite him into your present reality of vomit and chills is akin to training for a race. The race is coming months from now, but it is those daily runs and those extra sessions in the weight room that will make the difference.
Life is not lived to the fullest amidst sickness. But we can practice our discipline and habits despite it nonetheless. I've had times when I was sick and could only just stare at my bible. I remember once reading and re-reading and then re-reading one simple Psalm, and then literally not being sure what I even just read I was so drowsy. But the practice is important regardless.
Clinging to God in the midst of sickness, or pain, or suffering is a habit that is true of God's people. And it's a habit worth cultivating.
Join me in my wooziness in opening your bible and inviting the presence of the Lord. It will pay off when ultimately far more than wooziness comes our way and we have trained ourselves to immediately and regularly call upon the Lord.