Ever had one of those weeks where EVERYTHING went wrong? That was me last week.
It started late Sunday afternoon. Our oldest daughter came running into the house holding her finger, while the other two kids trailed behind her yelling, “She’s hurt! She’s hurt!”
Somehow, a poorly landed handstand had ended with one knee smashing a finger into the concrete, ripping a huge tear in one of her violin string-fingers. The sight of the torn flesh made me queasy. My husband took over and before long announced that the cut was bad enough to warrant a trip to the ER. I was due to be at worship team practice in a few minutes, but off to the ER we went instead. A couple hours later, our daughter and I returned home with a heavily bandaged finger that thankfully was neither broken nor stitched nor glued.
Now, Mondays are our busiest days. The kids attend their local homeschool co-op, where I lead an afternoon class. Following that, we have other extra-curricular activities that just happen to fall on manic Monday. So imagine my disgust when I woke up with a stuffy nose and mildly sore throat. “Oh great!” I thought to myself. “Another cold.” I had just barely gotten over the one I caught two weeks before. And now I had another one to deal with. Ugh.
We made it through the day at our co-op, but each hour weighed heavier and heavier as my “cold” appeared to be growing into something more. My daughter had lost her sturdy bandage, so it was out of the question for her to attend her activity that night. Going home was a no-brainer. Upon arrival, I stumbled into bed, my body and throat aching and burning. I remember one kiddo bringing me Mickey Mouse and heart-shaped pancakes covered with jam. Other than that, the rest of the night was a blur of fever and Nyquil.
Tuesday. Still have that pesky fever and sore throat. Cancel everything.
Wednesday. A little better, but not quite enough to teach piano. We managed to get enough homeschooling done to call it a day. I anticipated Thursday and being able to teach my regular students and homeschool our kiddos…and attend an orthodontist appointment…and host an event in the evening.
Deep inside, I knew that I wouldn’t have enough energy for a busy, non-stop day. During the long night of tossing and turning on our recliner (because I couldn’t breathe laying flat), I asked God for strength and fast healing.
Apparently God has a sense of humor. I woke up to one eye crusted shut and the other one not far behind. I stumbled into the bathroom to squint in the mirror only to see…pink eye. So much for a full day. This required a trip to the doctor because none of the natural remedies in my arsenal addressed this kind of pink eye. And so for the fourth time that week, I made arrangements to cancel obligations.
Remember I Thessalonians 5:18? “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (NKJV) Yeah, I did, too. “Ok, God. Thank You for pink eye.”
In my frustration, I felt God’s smile. He seemed to say, “Carol, you needed another day to rest up. While I didn’t make you sick, your pink eye is going to force you to go to the doctor, get medicine, and get well.”
Oh, our loving heavenly Father. He knows how expectations and obligations get me all wrapped up. So He let me miss one thing after another this week…all so I could rest. Even though I slacked on my quiet time with Him while sick, this compassionate Father still held me in His arms. I am so undeserving. He loves me because He loves. Period. It doesn’t depend on my doing and achieving.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.Psalm 127:2 ESV
Sometimes we just have to let go of all our obligations and expectations. God is not as concerned with our achievements as He is with our state of rest. Our state of being. And when He provides that rest in strange ways, we just thank Him and laugh.
At the end of the pink-eye-day, one kiddo announced, “Mommy, I feel tired and cold. My throat hurts, too. Can I go to bed?”
Oh, dear. Here we go again…