I dusted off an old story of mine, a short one I wrote while recovering from pneumonia years ago--one I thought you might enjoy as many of us have found ourselves in similar situations this time of the year. It's in my book of devotions, Babes With A Beatitude--Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith
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Medicine For the Soul
“. . .And by His stripes we are healed”—Isaiah 53:5.
“Pneumonia!” I wheezed. “No way!” The doctor prescribed antibiotics, breathing treatments, an inhaler and pills, pills, pills! I listened dutifully, occasionally nodding my head at all the medical “mumbo-jumbo,” until he said something about “complete bed rest.”
“What was that about complete—”
“Complete bed rest,” he smiled as if he’d heard this argument once or twice before.
“You mean I’ll have to stay in bed?” I asked dumbfounded.
“That’s right, you either rest at home or I send you off to the hospital. The choice is yours.”
Back at home I crawled onto the bed gingerly. This isn’t so bad. I glanced over to my nightstand. Orange juice. Check. Tissue box. Check. Vicks Vaporub. Check. Medication. Check. Pre-rest check completed. I reached for the heating pad and turned it on high, then slowly slid back into two fluffy pillows.
Then I noticed something hanging from the ceiling, a small grey chain. I squinted in the filtered light of drawn curtains. A chain of dust? A dust stalactite was hanging from the ceiling, billowing gently in the soft breeze of the ceiling fan. Well, isn’t that nice! When I’m better, that will be the first thing I clean. That’s for sure.
The phone rang—a friend calling to check up on me. We talked a bit and she said a brief prayer for me until another call clicked in. “Gotta go anyway,” she said cheerfully. “Get well!” If only she knew about the grey stalactite on my ceiling. The intruding call turned out to be some other cheerful someone selling timeshares. Right.
Maybe a long sip from the very tall glass of orange juice on my bedside table would help. I glanced at the clock. Urggghhh. Time for my breathing treatment. I emptied an ampoule into the inhaler contraption and switched on the “Nebulizer.” Foggy mist immediately discharged from both sides. I took a deep breath, well, as deep as I could in a wheezing sort of way. My heart thumped faster, a side effect of the medication. I hate this, Lord! I felt shaky. Breathing treatment. Check.
WHO WAS I KIDDING? My heart was heavy. I had exhausted every possible distraction and found that ignoring the gentle, loving ministrations of the Holy Spirit was impossible! I was angry with God about something I'd prayed about, but hadn't received an answer to. And there was the matter of pneumonia on top of that. . .
“Okay Lord!” I threw off the covers and cried out, “I’m sick! I need You to heal me! It’s not fair! Why did You allow me to get sick?” I wheezed in between gaping sobs. “I-I trusted You!”
But His still, small voice directed me to the nightstand. There, amongst the tissues and medicines was my poor little bible, dusty from lack of use. Tears flooded my eyes. His love unfolded in my heart like a rose and I crumbled. The wall of disappointments, hurts and blaming God I had built in my heart over the past few months fell apart. Trusting God means giving up control. Trusting God is waiting on Him for help or deliverance from my circumstances. Trusting God means not blaming Him when things don’t turn out the way I want or expect them to.
The tears flowed. So did the prayers and later, quiet contemplation of His Word. I was filled with His peace.
It took being flat on my back to understand that I really needed to be flat on my face before the Lord. I realized that on this earth we may never know the answers to all the “Why’s,” but knowing the “Who,” and trusting Him is infinitely more important.
Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Her latest novel Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.
Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency
Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.