Friday, January 9, 2015

Beside Still Waters

For over a week I struggled with it. Every night (it was way worse at night) I'd awaken in the wee hours of the morning, feeling like I was drowning, unable to breathe because of the liquid in my throat and the back of my nose. Swallowing fiercely, snorting, swallowing some more, gasping for breath in between, I'd eventually get up and cough up unspeakably gross blobs of green into the sink, rinse them down the drain. 

When I finally got prescription medication for it, (the doctor thought it was bacterial) I took one - actually, 60% of one - dose of the prescription-strength cough syrup she suggested. It contained hydromorphone - a narcotic-based cough suppressant, as well as a very strong antihistamine (to quell the production of mucous). That was the worst night because there was absolutely NO moisture in my throat, not even the normal kind, and I awoke at 1:30 a.m. with a raging sore throat and no way to moisten it, afraid to take any other medication because I'd been warned against mixing them. (That was the last night I took that particular cough syrup!) 

I did take the antibiotics but they didn't seem to help. Ah, so it's viral and will just need to run its course.

And what a miserable, long course it has been. I've been home for a full two weeks of work.

To top things all off, I ran out of sick leave over a week and a half ago. The leave I have to take now is precious vacation time. It is limited. 

I've run the full gamut of emotions during this sickness - just plain fatigue, yes, but also frustration at not being able to sleep, frustration with myself that I can't fight this thing as quickly as I want, anger that nothing seems to help, sadness and helplessness that my body just can't get out of its own way, anxiety over what I'm going to do about my vacation leave, whether I will have enough, and the list goes on. 

Times like this cause me to question why such things happen. 

Well, it's been a stressful year, no doubt about that. And stress impacts the immune system. The house has had to remain closed in these frigid cold temperatures; that doesn't help. And someone, somewhere, decided it was a good idea to "tough it out" and go to work or to church or to a doctor's office, and in so doing, spread their germs for me to catch. 

I know this in my head. My heart, though, is another matter. All I want is for someone to make the hurting stop, to spoil and look after me, to listen to me when I need listening to, and to show me that I am loved. 

But He HAS already. He HAS shown me that He loves me - what more could He have done but to die for me?  He DOES listen to me. He dotes on my every word, whether spoken to Him directly or not. And He has unleashed an army of antibodies in my body to fight the internal battles I can't consciously fight. 

I listen to some worship music. I pray. I centre myself, breathe deeply ... (medication helps some) and remind myself that He looks after me whether I feel it or not. He constantly prays for me. He continually looks out for my welfare; I need to accept that and rest on it. 

"He leads me beside still waters." (Psalm 23)  I remember that sheep will not drink from moving (troubled) waters. The water must be still. Then the sheep will drink.

He stills the waters. He speaks peace. "I am here." 

Ah, there He is ... the Good Shepherd. The One who gave His life for me. He is here. All the questions melt away. 

I can drink. I can rest. 

Photo "Portrait Of A Baby Sheep In The Farm"
provided by ponsulak at

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