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February 19, 2014

A Beneficial Bronchitis

    Last weekend, I was scheduled to serve on our church's worship team for both of our Sunday services. Anyone who knows me knows how I have a deep desire to sing for God, and that being asked to serve on our team gives me so much pleasure and satisfaction.

   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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   My fear came true. I wasn't able to sing on Sunday. Or Monday, Or Tuesday, Or even today, which is Wednesday.

   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.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 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.

http://jesus-hereiamsendme.tumblr.com
   My sense is that I am "processing" my experience in the Made to Crave study which I have been writing about here since January 15, 2014. God is at work changing my heart. As a result, my mind and emotions are being changed as well.

   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!! 


16 comments:

  1. So the real blessing from the bronchitis was that it gave you an opportunity to show that you trust God and didn't grumble and complain.about your situation...ha ha...I guess with bronchitis it would be hard to HEAR your grumbling. I need to start trusting God like that.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Marcia. It's still hard to hear me - the cough is still ongoing, and I have absolutely NO VOICE at all! LOL! Healing comes all in God's good timing..... God bless you!

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  2. Too funny!!! I ALSO got sick this week and and could not sing on Sunday. I had the same feelings of disappointment. Thanks for a great post. God bless ~ Miriam of http://cravingsconfidential.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for leaving a comment, Miriam. See you next week!

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  3. Thank you, Linda. This is a blessing to read. Your last paragraph is quite accurate, but I know God is using this illness for good in many more ways. May you be healed by the stripes Jesus bore for you. Because of Jesus, Cindy

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Cindy! God bless you, sister.

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  4. I hate being sick; however God does have a way of bringing about blessings in unusual ways. Get Well and Be blessed!!!

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    1. Thank you for your well-wishes, Shantay! God bless you.

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  5. Such an encouraging read and a read blessing to hear someone truly praising and thanking God in all circumstances. We so often just see Him at work in the 'good' things of life, but it's so liberating to know, believe and trust that "in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28.
    Blessings, Sarah Travis (OBS Small Group Leader)

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    1. My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." I think back to the beginning of my journey as a Christian, when I had only faith in my arsenal, and how I would cling to that verse for strength. For a while, it was all I had to sustain me. Now, the truth of our Lord's grace surrounds me and I am never without hope. This OBS is giving me a renewed passion for God.

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  6. What a beautiful encouraging post! Thank you for sharing God's process in your heart :)

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    1. Mary, thanks for stopping by to comment. God bless.

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  7. Well, I sure missed you on Sunday!! I was sad not to have you up there with me, but am so thankful for the work that God is doing in you....HE that begun a good work in you will continue it until the day of Jesus Christ!! Get well soon!!

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    1. You are so right, Colette! And I hope to be able to join you soon.

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  8. It is so true that God can use anything to draw us to Him. It is our trials that usually have us seeking His strength & guidance, isn't it? And He is always there with open arms ready to hide us in His wings! Good post, Linda!

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  9. Deb, thank you for that lovely reminder that Jesus is always at our side!

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As always, feedback for any post is greatly appreciated.