What a way to start my blog, talking about how sick I've been. It all started the day after vacation ended. My wife & I (that's me in the back, the tallest) spent last week in NY skiing with my two oldest kids and their spouses. Oh, and the greatest little grandchildren in the world! We had a great time but were glad to be home...until the next day I woke up with a cough that wouldn't quit. Here it is a week later and I'm coughing non-stop. That's why I'm writing this at 12:35 in the morning. When I lie down I start coughing. It's driving my wife crazy, and me too.
So I've been thinking this IS the greener grass...I'm in it, by faith. It's not out there somewhere in someone else's yard. I can be content here and now.
A prayer of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) helps me find contentment in sickness. He prayed, "Lord, whose spirit is so good and so gentle in all things, and who art so compassionate that not only all prosperity but even all afflictions that come to Thine elect are the results of Thy compassion: grant me grace that I may not do as the pagans do in the condition to which Thy justice has reduced me. Grant that as a true Christian I may recognize Thee as my Father and as my God, in whatever estate I find myself, since the change in my condition brings no change in Thine own. For Thou art the same, though I be subject to change, and Thou art God no less when Thou dost afflict and when Thou dost punish, than when Thou dost console and when Thou dost manifest indulgence. Grant then, Lord, that I may conform to Thy will, just as I am, that, being sick as I am, I may glorify thee in my sufferings. Without them I cannot attain to glory; without them, my Saviour, even thou wouldst not have risen to glory. Amen."
I don't think Pascal means that all sickness is a punishment from God...I mean, what could I have done to merit punishment? (Ha!) The point is, I can choose to be content in my sickness by seeing this time as a gift...a time to rest, to stop doing all the stuff I usually do, and to glorify God with an attitude of worship.