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Sickness Stinks

I like to keep my posts G-rated, so I refrained from using a slightly stronger second word that some (myself included) would find offensive. Sickness stinks. Yes, I’m sick again. Yes, that’s why it’s taken 7 days for me to post a blog in March. I was sick last Sunday with a fever that did not go away until Tuesday. On Wednesday, I had no fever, but my sinuses were still “acting up.” On Thursday, though, I wished that my fever was back, because I had a terrible headache at 5 in the evening. In my opinion, fevers are less bothersome than terrible headaches are. A fever will just put you in bed. A bad enough headache will make you long for nothing more than for it to go away. For those of you who have experience with bad headaches, I know how you feel. Back in 8th grade, I would have a sharp headache daily, but those would only last a minute each. Since Thursday, I have had at least one terrible headache each day that has lasted for no less than 30 minutes. Two of them have woken me up, and the two that come “in the day” are not as bad, but they’re still painful.

As it is, I will not be able to have my sermon up from this morning by the end of the day. I hope to post it by Tuesday, but I can’t make any promises. More urgently, I am—or am scheduled—to preach tonight at Eastside. But most discouraging of all, I have literally just had a terrible headache within the hour. Not as bad as the ones that wake me up, but still potent. Potent enough to make me sit in a chair with a washcloth stamped to my forehead for nearly half an hour. Its severity is gone now, but I can still feel it on my left temple, that dull lingering reminder that says it’s not gone. Not yet, anyway. So I ask that you readers pray that this headache stays away at least until 7 this evening, after I have preached my sermon tonight.

But something good has already come of these debilitating—there’s no other word for them—headaches; in my most recent headache, and not even half an hour ago, the Spirit reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I do not have surpassingly great revelations like Paul did, but I can relate to his “thorn in the flesh.” Many biblical scholars believe that his thorn was physical—likely blindness or other sight-related problem—and my thorn is definitely physical. But in the midst of my last headache not even an hour ago, the truth of this passage spoke to me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Christ’s power is indeed “made perfect” in my headaches. How? Tonight I am preaching on why we should rejoice in the Lord, and one of those reasons is because He will get us through sufferings, because He is greater than our sufferings. I know that now I know experientially the joy that I was already going to preach about tonight at Eastside. So I rejoice in the Lord, that He is my portion in the midst of my weird and terrible headaches. His grace is indeed sufficient for me in my headaches, and it is sufficient for you in whatever “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” you are currently going through.

God bless you all, and I only ask at the end that you pray for me tonight, that my headache will not silence me in the pulpit.

Soli Deo gloria!

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