For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish. Jeremiah 31:25
Jesus needed solitude. We are no different. And if we’re not going to find that rest, God might need to find it for us.
I have been blessed with good health. For that, I am immensely grateful. So, when I recently ended up in the hospital in Mazatlán, Mexico, with a severe allergic reaction, I was shocked at how quickly I lost my energy and found the simplest tasks (like getting out of bed) challenging. Just two days before, I had played tennis, attended social events and run errands. No longer. My get-up-and-go, got-up-and-went when a pierogi (apparently) sent me to the E.R.…a delicious pierogi given me by a friend. A sweet gesture that poisoned my body.
I have already written about the encouragement I received from loved ones. Juliette, my long-time friend from Florida, understood my discouragement, as daily I thought I would be released but then would relapse. On day five, I had a melt-down when I was told I needed more time in the hospital. Juliette’s words were timely: “…You are safe. Warm. Cared for. It could be so much worse. You got this. It’s just a matter of another day or two. Relax. Surrender. Be the light someone there needs you to be.”
Read that last sentence again. And again. Staring at those words, I realized that no matter what I was going through (and yes, it could have been much, much worse), God had a plan for me to stop being consumed with myself and to be a blessing to someone else. Physically, I was exhausted, but that didn’t mean I was to let that affect me spiritually. Juliette reminded me of a higher purpose.
With limited Spanish, I took her words to heart, looked beyond my lethargy and sought ways to be grateful to the staff: for the nurses’ ability to administer painless IV’s, for how they rapidly answered my call button; for the team of doctors that met daily to modify my medications; for cleaning ladies who came in twice a day, smiling while they worked; and for the dozens of employees who had learned English to better serve us gringos. When I said, “Dios te bendiga” (God bless you), they beamed.
Once I began following Jesus’ advice (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”), I was able to take the focus off of myself and put it on others. The longer I had remained frustrated over my condition, I was not ministering to others or myself. I was not honoring God. Here He had given me days to have quiet fellowship with Him, and I had squandered much of it, fretting over things that drew me away from His provision.
I am home now, doing great, taking meds, and visiting with friends. One of them asked me what I’ve learned from this. I told her I have learned to trust in the Lord…but not in a pierogi.