“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
My husband and I have been sick with the flu this week. I mean really sick…the kind of sick that wouldn’t let us get out of bed or even gather the motivation to change out of our pajamas. We knew the flu had been moving through our church family and our community but we thought we had escaped it. The scariest part is the fact that my husband is just 8 weeks post heart surgery. We caught it quickly however, and having turned the corner yesterday, it looks like we are both going to survive.
My husband and I have different approaches to dealing with illness. When I’m sick I try to stay positive. I embrace with pleasure all the nice “stay-in-the-house” kinds of activities that I can enjoy without the usual guilt…like watching a nice long movie, catching up on my reading, soaking in a hot bubble bath…and if we are both sick together, enjoying uninterrupted talk time with my spouse. I try my best to have a positive attitude and look for the silver lining. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t take illness as well. He can quickly become negative, anxious about all the things he should be doing, and worried that if he doesn’t keep all the plates spinning, our world may come crashing down. Of course, he wants no part in my helping him to find the silver lining! Some say it’s “a man thing” and that women handle illness and pain better than men…something to do with the necessity of women having the courage and fortitude to bear children. I only know my own man, and he doesn’t handle being sick all that well.
Just as periods of sickness give us the opportunity to choose positivity and hope over negativity and worry, such is life.
There is no perfect day. No perfect spouse. No perfect child. No perfect job. There is just imperfect life.
Choosing to reflect joy and refuse worry is something we can do every day. When we do that, we not only improve the environment in our home and uplift our family but we allow the world to see that our circumstances do not determine our outlook. Anyone can be hopeful and positive when things are going great. The moments that draw the attention of unbelievers are those moments when life has kicked us to the curb, when we are “done”, when we are dealt an unfair hand. If we can hold our heads up and remain joyful, positive, even thankful, in those desperate moments, that is when the world will see the hope and peace we have in Jesus Christ.
I am so thankful that I have hope…that I have a reason to rejoice, that I know who holds my future. How about you? If you desire that peace and assurance for today and hope for tomorrow and you’re not sure what to do to get it, please talk to a trusted Christian friend, a pastor, or visit my page on “How to Become a Christian”.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)