I have worn myself out with moving, and find myself in bed with a cold. I am weak. My eyes and ears hurt. I am tempted to be anxious about what is left undone, but I have no strength to do anything about it. Sickness reduces life to its simplest terms. A little nourishment, a lot of rest, no progress on the to-do list. Everything waits until tomorrow.
As I rest on my couch with computer and dog, I want to think about simple entities. It’s all I can process in this state of fog. And I have enjoyed finding God in a unique way today by thinking about very ordinary things. I have eaten a few jars of yogurt made from raw goat’s milk. I love to go to the goat farm each week and pick up a fresh jar of milk. It is a connection to the land and the farmer and to God who is the provider. Farmers need God more than I need Him. It is His sun that gives life to every planting. God made the seeds, and He made man from the soil. The richness of the soil comes from abundant growth that returns to the soil as nourishment. The rain is from God. The damaging storms are stayed by His hand. And the herds of goats munch on green nourishment that God elaborately planned for my good. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; and when I take time to appreciate the earth, I see His constant love and care for me. I feel His smile as the cool yogurt soothes my sore throat and aching stomach.
Sickness brought on by stress and overwork is also an object lesson for me to connect with those who read this blog. The stores are already crammed with Santa trappings, and the world is speeding up for the great American holiday extravaganza. And we who grieve cannot help but feel a certain dread in the pit of our stomachs. The more the world parties, the more we feel alone. And if we allow the pressures of obligation and the expectations of others to fill our calendars in this season, our bodies will probably say, “Stop!” with an irritating cold, or a cloud of depression, anxiety or anger that we cannot explain.
I am making a commitment right now to take care of my body and mind this holiday season. I will eat right, knowing that large quantities of sugar caused depression and arthritis. I will take extra Vitamin D to compensate for the lack of sunshine. I will maintain a regular sleep schedule. I will start every day by giving thanks to God. Gratitude is an antidote for depression. I will choose my obligations carefully, and I will not visit places that increase my grief. God has work for me to do, and He has stopped my hurried routine to remind me of His goodness, His faithfulness, and His kindness. I am resting today in His everlasting arms. The stacks of boxes and the rest of moving will wait.
It is God that girds me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hind’s feet, and sets me upon my high places. Psalm 18:33-34