Let’s all be honest now. Being sick is pretty awful. You have a virus inside of you this is throwing your body completely off balance. However, what is usually instantly attributed to illness if what is blatantly apparent to the senses: the symptoms.
I have been through a long season of various illnesses that seem to persist or come right after one another. Well, to be pretty honest, I have been ill more times during my last two and some years at university than I have during the entirety of High School and even some of Junior High. How is this so? Well, various things contribute. One thing is that for the first two years I lived in a dormitory, or a petri dish, where germs spread and grew at alarming rates. If someone got sick, like dominoes, all the rest would un-willfully succumb one after another to the trifling case of the flu. It seems inescapable no matter how hard you try! Every doorknob is surely the enemy.
Another reason is that while I lived in the dorms, we ate in the cafeteria which consisted mostly of sodium and dairy rich food concocted for the masses. Most of it was comfort food, with the nutritious veggies and fruits in a lower supply. If you wanted to be healthy, you could either scavenge the available food for what won’t make you feel bloated later, or eat a salad for every meal. Being the type that loves variety, I sacrificed eating healthy at many moments for the novelty of having all the varieties of food at my disposal. The lack of sufficient vitamins definitely contributed to the constant dripping nose, phlegm frog throat, and twice semester-ly flu. Okay, not to mentions the constant mental strain of classes and homework that left the body tired and opting out of physical activity for more sedentary ones.
Sure, a lot of these things were out of my control. However, some of the factors could have been reversed. When I was to the point where I felt like my body could collapse, and I experienced symptoms like a sore throat, cough, and sinus blockage it was eventually the Holy Spirit (usually via MOM- cause moms are that awesome) to whom I finally listened that I needed to take better care of myself or I would burn out. It was the symptoms that allowed me to see something greater through the whirring of my sinus headache.
Symptoms allow me to see there is a greater virus.
Before this virus, there was an internal problem that had hung around in my blind spot and now has my head wondering what in the world is wrong with me! Illness without symptoms is the most lethal.
I have had some more dire, and long lasting health issues arrive this year that had my crying in my pillow at night due to the pain and hopelessness and crying out to God to please help me. I realized that I could not remember the last time I had such a private, desperate plea to God. As the symptoms were wearing me down daily to the point of exhaustion, I heard God whisper to me, “Symptoms are my mercy and grace.” I sat and thought about that for awhile and a new characteristic of Almighty God began to be felt with every ache and pain.
Without symptoms, there would not be realization of a virus, and then there would never be a hope for a cure.
Not only has my physical illness revealed that there are deeper problems in my bodily health, but it has also led to symptoms of frustration, stubbornness and selfishness that have revealed a deeper mental and spiritual issue. God used these emotional and mental symptoms to get my attention and give me an option to turn the situation over to Him. It has changed my attitude on the reasons why I feel so disheveled when I do something that is contrary to the will of God. It is not just conviction, or even pitiful guilt, it is a symptom that reveals that what I have done has torn me away from my source of life and balance and harmony: Yahweh, my God the great I AM, and I have forgotten the saving grace of his son Jesus Christ.
This is why just as we should never neglect our physical health , so we should never forget to constantly lean on, remember, thrive on the redemptive power of Christ. It is when we forget about the sacrifice of Christ, forget the gift of a new identity as God’s redeemed children, and forget that we are nothing without it that we succumb to the virus of depravity and hopelessness.
Thank the Lord, God Almighty for symptoms.
Now here is a song from the esteemed MUTEMATH: