Over the last couple of weeks we have been sick with a stomach bug . . . not something I would wish on anyone . . . especially a family with 6 kids!  I wasn’t worried too much when only one child was complaining of not feeling well and not wanting to eat.  We had several days of them feeling puny one at a time . . . it was easy to deal with and whichever child it was seemed to recover quickly and easily.  It was when I had 2 violently ill at the same time that I knew I was in trouble.  Did I mention that our new home has carpet in the bedrooms???  Well, I was scrambling to keep the children out of their beds – we made pallets all over the living room floor and rounded up several trash cans to hug when the need arose.  It was when my 1 year old got sick that I started to panic! My 4 year old was very close to being dehydrated, and I was trying hard to keep him from needing an Emergency Room visit (which we managed to avoid).  I knew that the little one would be more vulnerable to dehydration than any of the rest of us!  My stress level went through the roof and I started praying like crazy.  

God listened to my prayers and gave me the strength and health I needed to make it though until Kevin was off work.  I didn’t become sick until Sunday, which was Kevin’s day off . . . which meant that I could focus on my own recovery and leave the rest of the work to him.

I was praying for physical healing, but I think God brought more than that.  Yes, God healed our bodies from the virus, but He also helped us to draw closer to Him.  My focus had shifted during the move and all the unpacking.  I was working so hard to get the house set up and figure out all the little details of getting everything “fixed” that I was not keeping my eyes on Jesus.  God gave grace even in my distraction: He gave me strength to get the work done, and He protected me from injury.  I missed my time with God though!  Reading one verse a day and then rushing off to accomplish as much as possible isn’t refreshing to my soul in the same way as having longer periods of time to reflect and pray over what I am reading.  Being sick and taking care of sick kids forced me to slow down and focus on the important things in life.

It’s funny how being awakened in the middle of the night by a perfectly healthy child will cause me to be grumpy and ask “why?!”  However, being awakened by a sick child causes me to be thankful because they still have the strength to cry, and I know that the energy in the crying means they’ll get their needs met and get well.  Being interrupted from housework by my healthy children causes me to see how impatient they are, while dealing with the interruption by sick children shows me how very dependent they are on me for everything.  All of this realization also emphasizes to me how very different God is from human kind.  He is so very patient with us.  He is not limited by time or energy.  He is not overwhelmed by the needs we bring to Him.  He is able and willing to fix our problems at exactly the right time.  I am so thankful to be given the opportunity to know and be known by our Wonderful Creator!  He is good and powerful and wise.  He even uses our illnesses to teach us things about Himself.  He forgives when we fail to focus on Him, and He loves us in our weaknesses.  Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.