It was Valentine’s Day weekend/my husband’s birthday and I was sick. Coughing up a lung, to the point of throwing up, weakness, aches, and tiredness to the point that I could barely keep my eyes open.
I usually get over things pretty quickly, and I hadn’t been really sick in years. But the next day, we are cancelling my husbands birthday party, which he was really looking forward to, and he was coming home from work early the next week (more than once) to take care of the kids because I just wasn’t geting better.
My husband was convinced I had the flu, or at least something that needed antibiotics, and kept telling me to go to the doctors, but most of the time when I go to the doctors with my children the doctor just says “It is a virus that will run its course”… so the thought of spending over $100 for a doctor to tell me that “I have a virus that will run its course” didn’t seem like a great idea in my book.
I finally caved and went to the doctors, and felt like an idiot when the receptionist asked why I was there. “I have this cough that won’t go away, I am really tired, and my husband thinks I have the flu.” I mean I am sure that they hear that all day, sometimes for something serious, but probably a lot of other times for the common cold. And friends, I don’t want to be that person that runs to the doctor for a little cough.
I ended up on antibiotics for some kind of respiratory infection, and quickly started getting better.
But what does this teach me?
How many of you have children? Or maybe you have babysat before, and know what it is like to be in charge of a little person. One of the first rules of parenting 101 is to make sure your children don’t get hurt. You know, stay away from the burning candle, wear a helmet when you ride your bike, don’t put your finger in the light socket, don’t run across the street without looking, etc…
You want your children to listen to wisdom. You want to protect them from harm as much as you can, and as a good parent offer them advice that will be of good service to them.
I wasn’t listening to wisdom. I probably should have gone to the doctors 3 days before I actually did. But I didn’t. I was being stubborn.
And I am so much like that with God too. Jesus says in Matthew 7: 24-27 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
But I have to be honest, although I try to be careful when making decisions, and seek Him when making them, I am not always like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Sometimes I am like that fool. I am more the fool who despises wisdom, and instruction. Okay maybe despises is a strong word. I don’t hate wisdom and instruction, and I don’t really run from it either. So, maybe a better word for my situations is “hides from the source of”, or “hesitates going to the source of”.
Usually this comes out with me putting too much thought and weight on the things that go on around me, instead of seeking the One whose ways are higher.
I don’t want to be a fool, but do you know why sometimes I am?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
Because I know that what He says can be hard. I don’t mind the narrow road, I really don’t. It is the faith, trust, belief part, especially during uncertain times, that I can have the hardest time with. Looking for the way, when I can’t see the path in front of me. The obedience part, because although I don’t mind the narrow road, there can be gaps in my faith, and if there are gaps in my faith, that can result in a hesitation in my obedience.
And there I am trying to build a house on sand.
This happens a lot when I am not spending time, or hesitating to spend time in His word. And if I am not spending time in His word, that means I am spending time in my head. I can’t obey what He says, if I am not going to the source that carries what He teaches.
And this happened over the week I was sick. I got to a place where I didn’t know how to move forward, began to feel stuck, and humanly considered all of my options (cough cough… I’ll get better, I dont’ need to go to the doctor). I made plan a, b, and c, and honestly none of them really felt great.
I shared a part of a verse in Proverbs a couple paragraphs up, Proverbs 1:7. That verse in proverbs actually begins with “The fear of the Lord is the beginning on knowledge”, then it’s followed by “the fool despises wisdom and instruction.”
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
I don’t need to try to make plan a, b, and c, when the One who goes before me is there with all of the wisdom and knowledge I could ever ask for. I don’t need to spend time in my head, when I can spend more precious time in His word, because that is what holds His truth spoken from Him. That is what holds everything we could possibly be looking for, the answers we are seeking.
I want to pay attention, I want to hear what He has to say, and I want to respond and follow what is spoken from Him. I don’t want to delay, or hesitate. I want to run to the One who is the beginning of wisdom, and I want the gaps in my faith to be filled with trust.
Let me end by what His word actually says about His word.
His word is alive and active, sharper than a double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)
His word is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
It is a lamp for our feet, and a light to our path. (Psalms 119:105)
His word endures forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
His word is flawless. (Psalm 18:30)
His word is right and true. (Psalm 33:4)
God, Thank you for your word. Thank you that it is right and true, and flawless. Thank you that it endures forever. Thank you that it is alive and active. May you always find us not hesistating to run to your word, because that is where we will find the way, the truth, and the life. May we be thirsty for it, and may we seek Your truth, Your wisdom, Your instruction in Your word, like a dying man searching for water in a desert. In Jesus name, Amen.