Yesterday, I was severely sick. I had some 24 hour bug--a sickness that zapped me like I had rarely been zapped before. What I realized during the hours of aches, nausea, discomfort, and misery was that I am weak. There's no way I could make it through labor. I reflected on Jessica's strength as she gave birth to Leigha two years ago and as we are preparing for our second child in the coming months. There's no way I could ever muster the strength to push an infant through my body. Let's just say God knew what he was doing when he made me male...
I mean watching Jessica in labor was tiring to me--enough so that I tried to take a nap during the laboring process. Of course, a nurse came in and made me feel guilty for trying to rest, so I, too, "labored" through the day. But, let's make this clear: I don't like being sick and I can't handle pain. I'm what my brother always called a weenie, but in my mind I'd much rather avoid getting sick than suffering through it. The old axiom comes to mind: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Yet, in the suffering, we can find the road of life to be lonely, bitter, and arduous. I fought my body for ten hours trying to find any place of comfort--a bed, recliner, rocking chair, couch, floor, but couldn't find any peace. I fought my mind from despairing too much, knowing what I was facing was temporary. But, what about those of us who fight for ten years, not ten hours--what about those of us who are lonely and battling with no one in their corner? What about our friends and family members who struggle daily with their health on account of their sicknesses. I remember feeling so out of sorts and so isolated, even in a place that was so familiar--my home. Sure I felt at home there but I didn't have comfort. I felt unease, fear, ill, and despondent.
It makes me grateful for the men and women who are faithful to visit the shut-ins and the sick folks. Some of us have seen our own flesh and blood battle sicknesses over many years. Some of us are continuing to battle sicknesses even now. I am encouraged because there are those around us who don't allow these folks to fight alone. There are good deacons, friends, and church family members who go and visit those in health's battle. Most of the time, these visits are not publicized, and most of us may not think anything about it, but for those men and women who are in need of a fresh word of encouragement, a well timed visit can help them fight for another day, another treatment, another moment, another season.
Visiting the sick and inspiring our brothers and sisters is the call to every Christian. Some of us are more comfortable doing so than others, but I would invite you to take some time out of your schedule and stop by someone's home. Lift their spirits for a moment, and pray an earnest prayer over their lives. You may never know what its effects may be, but I trust that you'll be the face of God for an instant.