So when woke up the Friday before feeling a little bit "punky" I was not confident that I would be healthy enough to sing on Sunday.
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It's doubtful that I'll be getting my singing voice back by the coming weekend.
Last Sunday, I felt disappointed, but not discouraged. Not angry. Not frustrated.
At about the same time I would have been on the platform in church, singing glory to God, I wrote these words of reply to a sweet friend's message of encouragement and concern about my absence from worship on Sunday morning due to illness:
"The Lord is my rock! And He is blessing me right now with this illness, and I thank Him for it. (For whatever reason - giving Him all the glory!)"
I wondered at the time what possessed me to call this illness - which has worsened since Sunday into bronchitis - a "blessing". It truly was reflexive action!
This morning, I do. My mind was directed to 2 Corinthians 4:7-11.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
I haven't been made angry or frustrated by this situation. Because there is a reason for everything.
And isn't God like that, to give us a blessing when we least expect it, for our benefit? Even a blessing like getting bronchitis.
One time I was blessed financially, which allowed me to finish my Master's degree without needing to take out a loan. I was trusting God to help me pay for my courses. God came through in an unexpected way.
Another time the blessing came from passing an audition that eventually took me to the stage of Carnegie Hall. That evening I had paused at the door to the audition room and placed my attempt into God's hands for God's decision. To my mind, I "blew" my audition. God thought differently.
This week God is slowing me down and changing my plans.
It is a concrete reminder that when God wishes something from me, He will give me what I need.
I initially joined the Made to Crave study to improve my overall health. No, I don't believe having this infection is an indication that replacing my cravings for food with a craving for God is detrimental to my health! That conclusion would be totally erroneous.
The reflex of calling the fact that I was too ill on Sunday to attend worship services a blessing from God is proof that my heart is indeed being changed because I am intentionally making decisions by first asking myself "Will this choice bring glory to God?" and giving a truthful answer.
It's a process, this walk of faith that is slowly, step-by-step, changing me into the image of Jesus.
If the blessing from this illness turns out to be that you who are reading this right now are encouraged in your own walk towards the perfection of Christ, then I am more than content to be sick this week - I am THRILLED, and giving all the glory to God!!