March 3, 2013

Sick Again

I am not certain what is going on here, but I am sick again. It all started with a head cold three weeks ago. I assumed I had picked it up after my mother came down with bronchitis and then pneumonia. I never developed a severe cold, just an annoying stuffy head, constant blowing of my nose, and the drip of my nasal cavities draining. UGH!

I recovered mostly, but I have suffered on with the stuffy head, sinus pain and pressure, and the post-nasal drip. Friday, though, I suffered an ulcer-like attack. Sometime in the afternoon, I took some Aleve to relieve a back ache and the ever present headache. I noticed that I started to get that gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach, but I hoped it would go away after I had some dinner. No such luck. I had invited my parents over to watch a movie and have pizza. I was nauseated the entire evening, and by the time they left, I felt pretty miserable. Saturday proved no better -- I was exhausted from a sleepless night, and I felt worse every time I ate anything. By evening, I was in such horrible pain that I thought seriously about going to the emergency room. Thankfully, the pain subsided and I was able to fall asleep and sleep soundly through the night.

I woke up this morning, feeling crummy, but at the least, with less pain. I stayed home from church, slept most of the morning, and then finally was able to eat a banana and a bagel later on. I dozed again this afternoon, finally waking up around 2 p.m. I am still not 100% better, but I do feel like the worst is over.

I prayed throughout my ordeal. I am not sure why stomach pain seizes you and forces you to be unable to think, do or sleep. It seems to radiate throughout your entire body, and there is nothing you can do or take to make it stop. As I prayed, I considered the worst - of course - that I had appendicitis or a gallbladder attack. I googled the latter, but really think my symptoms are a peptic ulcer and not an attack of gall stones.

Stress has played a role, and I am certain that the changing weather has not helped. However, I believe also that my feelings of general un-wellness stem from other sources, namely my unwillingness to allow the Lord to freely move in and through my life. I know -- some of you may be thinking that this is a crazy and unfounded excuse for not feeling well. I know, I know. It does sound sort of like I am making up reasons why I am feeling unwell. I don't expect you to believe me, side with me, or even consider what I may be saying as true. That's OK - I get it. It does sound kind of far-fetched.

The Bible does clearly speak to this point, though. We are told that Jesus often healed people from diseases that were the result of choices they had made in their lives, of generational sin and curses, as well as of the general spread of illness and disease due to environmental factors (lack of hygiene, clean water, antiseptic, etc.)

"The definition for sickness is to be in a disordered, weakened, or unsound condition. In other words, when one is sick, there is something that is within that individual that is out of alignment, lacking strength, and the internal infrastructure is fragile.1"

I know that for the past two-three years I have been unwell. In truth, I believe that I have been unwell since the first day I chose to disobey God and desire my will above His. I didn't understand fully what I was doing, and I did suffer greatly for many, many months before I confessed my willfulness and repented. I found healing, temporarily, until once again, I chose to follow after my own desires. This yo-yo cycle of healing followed by sickness has lasted throughout my adult years, and now that I am fifty, and looking at the second-half of my life, I have come to realize that I am literally 'sick and tired' of being sick and tired.

I have cried out to the Lord asking Him to heal me from all my infirmities. I know He has done so, yet I still find myself ill, feeling worn out, and under such duress, that often I don't think I can go on. I pray over it, asking Him to release me from whatever curse seems to be bearing down on me, and keeping me from feeling well again. This healing, the permanent state of feeling well, has alluded me thus far.

Today, I woke up feeling so very unwell, and I said to myself (and the Lord) that I had really had enough of it. I mean, not only am I preparing to tackle doctoral studies, but I am also getting ready to help my parents move, pack my son off to school, and then move myself -- how in the world will I do it all with these ailments weighing me down?

I know that there is something else happening in my life, something that is causing me to feel so poorly all the time. I googled reasons for feeling unwell, and this is the list that I came up with:
  1. Poor diet
  2. Dehydration
  3. Vitamins
  4. Minerals
  5. Stress
  6. Allergies
  7. Sleep Deprivation
  8. Excessive Sugar Intake
  9. Lack of Exercise
  10. Pollution / Chemical Exposure
Yes, I can say [x] to numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9. These are all factors for me, and most of them can be easily addressed and eradicated by changing the way I live, the way I think, and the way I spend my time. I can make small changes that will have a positive effect upon my health - I know this, I most certainly know this.

I guess there is part of me though that wonders if the root cause of my unwellness stems from a spiritual issue more so than these physical reasons. I know that I have been struggling with following the Lord, and with trusting Him for His provision in my life. I am certainly doing better on both accounts, yet, I know I could and should be farther along than I am. I still doubt, and I still tend to get bogged down in the details. I allow the enemy to gain footholds with my doubt, and I often sit down, feeling so unwell, that I am not willing to get up and get moving.

I need to get control over my health and well-being. The Lord has promised that He would heal us - I believe this is true.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." ~Isaiah 53:5

Jesus has healed us through the finished work on the cross. He has taken our diseases and infirmities upon Himself, and we (believers in Christ) have access to health and well-being through His death, burial, and resurrection.

I know this, I know what the Word says -- but often I do not believe that it is true in my case. I know other people receive healing and well-being -- I just don't think I deserve it. Somehow I must suffer. Wrong! Oh, how wrong can I be?

God is impartial when it comes to His blessings and cursing's. There is a right way, and a wrong way. There is His way, and there is our way. The way of Life - through Jesus Christ - is the right way. The way of Life through the inner workings of the Holy Spirit of God is His way. It is pretty simple when you lay it all out.

My way leads to death.
His way leads to live.
My way brings about disorder, weakness, and unsoundness in mind and body.
His way brings order, strength, and sound mind and body.

There is a clearly defined and marked way in life, and the way we choose determines whether we live in order, with strength, and with a sound mind and body (wholeness). Does this mean we will be free from disease and illness? Yes, and no. Our bodies were not designed to resist these things, but we can follow good rules for best health. We can give our bodies the best possible chance for remaining healthy by treating it with kindness and feeding it with good whole foods. I know this will only help me and not hurt. Ultimately, my health is something the Lord covers over for me. I trust Him for health and well-being. I work in partnership with Him to ensure that I am doing everything possible to keep myself well. I feed my body good food, and I feed my mind good thoughts and ideas. I feed my soul with the Word of God. I take care of myself -- physically, mentally, and spiritually -- and the rest I leave to God.

Dear Lord,

I understand now that my  un-wellness is symptomatic of my lifestyle choices as well as my inner struggles with obedience to your Word. I have contradicted you many times, wanting my way over your way, and not following when you have clearly told me to get going. I see now how a little disobedience can have markedly large impact on our health. I am choosing now to let go, to rest, and to let you be - to have your way. I surrender to what I know to be true. I am trusting you for your provision, and I am getting out of your way. I want your choice for my life, my home, my family. I want to know that I am not being stubborn or willful, and as a result, I will feel that peace and wellness that has seemed to allude me. I ask now in the Name of Jesus to be healed from this infirmity. I ask to be released from the oppressive curse of generational un-wellness that has been a part of my family. I ask to be set free from the illness and the pain that I bear in my body due to choices I made when I was younger, disobedient acts and the times when I willfully walked my own way. I am yours from this point on, and I am resting in your Name, and in the Power of your Resurrected Life. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah - pause and calmly think about it.

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