I hate being sick! There is way too much to do and I don’t have time to be out of commission for very long. Last week, I started feeling puny, was a little achy, and experienced some congestion. I thought it was the respiratory infection I used to pick up once or twice a year when I lived in San Antonio. I hadn’t been sick with any respiratory problems since I moved up here and figured it was about time for me to come down with something.
Even though I was under the weather, I made it to Bible study. I didn’t have a temperature and it was our first week. I didn’t want to miss out on facilitating my new group but as my health declined that morning, I realized that I might need some antibiotics and went to the doctor’s office after Bible study was over. The Physician’s Assistant asked, “Do you have the flu?” I responded, “I don’t think so.” She replied, “I think I’ll go ahead and swab your nose to make sure because we will treat the flu differently than a respiratory infection.” Ten minutes later, I received the surprising news, “You have the flu.” I was in denial about the diagnosis. I had not been ill with the flu in almost twenty years and when I had it the last time, my temperature was 104 degrees and I could not even move! This didn’t seem like the flu, but it was.
When I didn’t bounce back right away, I did some Google searches on the flu and found out the flu actually lives in your body for a week or so before the symptoms manifest themselves. Then, even after you are over the contagious aspect of it, the tiredness and cough continue for a number of days. I thought, “For a few days, I had the flu and didn’t even know it. It slipped in almost unnoticeable, but eventually, it took its toll on me.”
The flu is a lot like the way sin works. It slips in the back door. You don’t think it will do any harm at first; in fact you don’t even believe its wrong and are in denial about it. However, eventually, it takes you down like a bad case of the flu and you wonder how it happened! Like the flu, sin can affect so many others so it’s important to guard ourselves from it, if possible. In James 1: 13-15 it discusses the progression of sin, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
As children of God, we are supposed to live as children of light not in darkness. Ephesians 5:10, 11 encourages us to “find out what pleases the Lord” and “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:14 pronounces: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Like the flu, we can eventually recover from sin if we turn away from it. We can rise from our sick bed and through our obedience, God will pronounce us well! Or, we can continue to be in denial that we are sick, not get the help we need and take much longer to recover. God gives us the choice!