This week I have felt lousy. I picked up one of the early bugs to start off the flu and cold season. Before we even got to the regular flu/cold season I was downed by a lousy preseason bug. Do those even count in the standings? So I did the anti-male thing and went to the doctor.
“You are the twentieth person I have treated for this since yesterday,” she reported.
“Do I get a group rate?” I asked hopefully.
“No!” She said without even carefully considering the merits of my request.
So after investing a couple of hundred dollars in the medical profession and drug manufacturers I am sitting at home waiting for this to run it’s natural course. I thought of how really crappy I have felt this week. And then I realized how much I take for granted the fifty weeks or so out of every year when I feel good or even great. Sure I have the usual little aches and pains that a 50 plus body will accumulate. But for five decades I have been blessed with the ability to run slowly, jump barely, dance awkwardly, and laugh often. I am so blessed.
I thought about people who feel far worse than I have felt this week every single day of their lives. Yet they get up and go cheerfully about their business every day. I thought of those who deal heroically with chronic pain and soldier on without complaint. I thought about those who begin to feel badly and never get better. I expect that I will recover soon. Some never will.
I admire the people who find joy in their lives even when they don’t feel like it. King Solomon said the following in the Book of Proverbs.
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones. NIV Prov 15
The Message has an interesting take on this proverb.
A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
Think about the people who choose joy when circumstances don’t warrant that action. Don’t you find that the kind of personality that responds like that often features a twinkle in the eye? They are the kind of people that you visit to minister to and then end up receiving more than you gave.
Paul said in his letter to the church at Phillipi that he had learned to be content in his circumstance. It didn’t come naturally for him either.
I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Philippians 4 The Message
I am grateful for the illness because I appreciate health. I am grateful for the clouds because the sunshine then feels so wonderful. I am grateful for a God that never changes through good times or bad.