God, The Flu and Me

This has not been a good week. Or has it? God in His providence has allowed the flu to infiltrate my body and cause much misery. But I believe there is some good that has come from this unwanted sickness. The following review of “flu week”  is my effort to show that not all things are desirable but all things can teach us and shape us to be Christ-like.

Saturday, October 17 – I begin to develop an itchy throat and some slight coughing. By the end of the day I feel sickness coming on, but my initial thought was that I was just in a bad mood about the OU/Texas game.

What I learned: I care way too much about football. I told Lacey that I really almost dis-like myself because I enjoy it so much. I hope my dedication to football is not greater than my dedication and enthusiasm for Christ.

Sunday, October 18 – I woke up at 6 a.m. as usual, but feeling really bad. I go ahead and go through my routine and start to get ready. I take my temperature and have about 100 and decide I better call Russ and Ryan and get some advice about whether it is wise to come to church and spread the swine flu. We talk it over and develop an in-and-out plan. The plan: I will come up through the trap-door in the platform, preach and then leave, letting Ryan and the elders take care of the rest. I get off the phone with Russ and five minutes later I realize that no one is going to want to watch me throw-up on the platform. I go to a walk-in-clinic and take a flu test. It comes back negative. I ask, “Is it normal to throw up with a cold?” The doctor, “It depends.” I respond, “OK.”

What I learned: I’ve mentioned this in another note, but I am very glad that there are very capable people at our church who are more than competent if I can’t be there. I am glad to serve in a multi-staff situation and I am glad we have elders/pastors. God knew what He was doing when He inspired the idea of sharing leadership among elders.

Monday, October 19 – I felt horrible on Monday. I couldn’t open my eyes the first few hours I was awake. So I thought it would be a good idea not to drive to work or be at work.

Tuesday, October 20 – I was beginning to feel considerably better. I decided to make my way to the office after lunch and was greeted with the question, “What are you doing here.” Then I was told to go to my office and close the door. So that is what I did. I hold no ill will toward Mindy or Jo Ann. I still like all the staff.

Wednesday, October 21 – I am still feeling less than perfect, but I chalk it up to the fact that Elijah woke up at 4:30 a.m. and wanted his daddy. I went and laid down with him for a while and never went back to sleep. In hindsight, that was a huge problem because not only was I already sick, but now I was operating on very little sleep.

So I go into the office and do all the stuff that I need to do including getting ready to teach the 67 Wednesday Night Bible Study. I go home at 5 p.m. and take some nutrition and then take Luke back to church. I start to notice that I am shaking and having chills. I put on a coat and I am still freezing. It is clear that I have a fever that is rising quickly. I tell Jason Denney I can’t teach or infect the 67 group and I get Luke and go home and take meds and pile on blankets. My temperature tops out at 103.5 and finally starts to decrease at about 10 p.m. as I go to bed. Remember, I don’t have the flu per the flu test.

But the day wasn’t over yet. At 10:20 p.m. Luke wakes up crying and is soon screaming and writhing in pain. He has an ear infection. We’ve seen it before with him. He sleeps a whopping three hours and Lacey gets about two hours. I don’t sleep much either.

What I learned: I learned that when I don’t have any answers for why things are happening or how to make them better, the best and only thing to do is to depend on God in prayer and acknowledge how finite I am, – how powerless I am.  These helpless moments are good for me, they teach me to depend on God and not myself for left to myself I am inadequate. I need God all the time and I am thankful He does not show me with the flu and ear aches all the time.

Thursday, October 22 – We wake up and head to the walk-in clinic. This is now the second time this week I am going to the doctor, which makes for the second time this year I have been to the doctor. (Insurance companies love me.) But this time we are all going to see the doctor.

The doctor says that Elijah is getting better but probably had the flu. Luke has an ear infection in both ears and in one of his ears, his ear drum was just on the verge of busting it was so badly infected. I was told that  I more than likely had the flu. Wait a minute, I was told per a test that i did not have the flu. Both the nurse and the PA tell me that the flu tests are about 60 to 70% accurate.

We go to Wal-Mart and stock-pile Vitamin C, over the counter meds and under the counter meds.

What I learned: Don’t believe everything you are told? How about this; life is full of uncertainties so trust in God and be joyful and do what God has given you to do.

Friday, October 23rd – Feeling better but still feeling lethargic. Temperature comes back at night, but got a whole night of sleep without interruptions.

What I Learned: That in the midst of all trials, that there is joy to be found and there are truths to learn and re-learn. Every event in life is an opportunity to trust God and believe that God can use the flu for my good and His glory. Romans 8:28

About brentprentice

Brent is the lead pastor and one of the Elders at Eagle Heights in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He has been married to Lacey for 14 years and together they love two sons, Luke and Elijah, and a daughter, Bella.

Posted on October 23, 2009, in Eagle Heights. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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