Monday, February 14, 2011
Tylenol, Hot Tea and A Sense of Entitlement
Matthew 5:45 "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."
The past few months have been hard. Illness has hit us with a whollop at our house. I am currently on my third round of antibiotics, steroids and inhalers, and both boys are just ending a two and a half week battle with RSV. My long tango with bronchitis has given me pluerisy, which I hadn't really even heard of before now (an infection of the lining of the lungs). Our bodies are tired, and sleep hasn't been easy. Our lives are surrounded by Tylenol and hot tea as of late.
I could continue to whine and complain about all that has come with these months of illness, but that is exactly what I hope to stop doing and curtail. That is a road my flesh can so easily find attractive--the pity party path.
You see, I know that God allows each circumstance for a Christian's good--for our growth to be perfected and for us to die more to self and live more in line with Him.
Knowing this, I sought God's wisdom during many times of prayer and Bible reading these last few weeks. I knew it was only in His strength that I could get through this with the correct perspective and grace. He is faithful to teach me with a lot of patience and mercy.
We often hear about entitlement. As Christians, (I hope) we hear that we are not entitled to nice things, an easy life, the perfect house, perfect children, and all that the world holds dear on its pedestal of sand.
However, we cringe a little more when we realize we are not even entitled to what many consider "normal" aspects of life: like health. God didn't promise us health in our bodies. Just look at the child who is born with limitations or differences. My past couple of months has made this loud and clear in our family.
How can we forget we live in a fallen world that is diseased in every way by our sin? Our bodies are decaying, broken and dying. Any "sense" of health and vitality is short lived and certainly won't last.
Wives, when our routines, desires, dreams or hopes are interrupted by sick kids, disease or major health trials, we automatically, in our flesh, want to let everyone know how hard we have it and how we have been given a "raw deal" as of late.
Truly, though, it is, in a Christian's life, a moment to recall the true grace that health is in our lives and how we don't deserve it, but it is still given to so many!
The baseline we are entitled to is death and separation from God--sickness is the least of it. We ought to rejoice that our suffering here is but light and temporary compared to the glory we will receive in Christ when we enter Heaven. For eternity.
I always have loved a saying my pastor tells us from time to time. People ask him, "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" He says the real miracle and wonder is "Why does God let good things happen to bad people (which is all of us, by the way)." Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Ask Yourself: How did you react the last time you went through a fairly large health trial? Look specifically at your conversations, Facebook posts, tweets, and e-mails. Were you prone to complain and list your trials, or were you able to be truthful about your circumstances while still giving praise and glory to God for who He is and what He has done in your life? Were your reactions different than those of your non-Christian friends? Did you remember to hold fast to the hope that you have?
Remember, God's mercies are new every morning. Evaluate exactly what it is you are entitled to receive from God, and praise Him that you do not get it. Work on having an eternal mindset to give you hope in the trials of today.