Thanksgiving on Recovering from Illness

I never prayed so much as the time I spent in the bathroom the night before last – about twelve trips that night until the contents of my stomach and intestines were emptied, as a result of a nasty virus.  Each time I earnestly asked, “O God, please help me” and felt I would have been better off dead.   Two days later I am feeling better and resuming my daily tasks with more energy at last.  I felt as if I had been to the edge and back, not knowing that my body could convulse that much and stay in one piece.  It sounds a bit melodramatic now, but not then.  I want to share the psalmist’s gratitude at the feeling of restoration:

I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
Because he has inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2)

Just over a year ago I fell off a ladder and fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor.  Miraculously I escaped lasting injury, although it took a few months of physical therapy to get me back in shape.  Immediately after that experience I was very grateful to be alive and not seriously injured.  I could echo the psalmist’s words once again:

For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  (Psalm 116:8-9)

For all the times we are restored to health through the body’s own wonderful immune / defense system, there are times when we must come to terms with a lesser outcome.  For those times we also pray to God in the words of the psalmist:

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
our God is merciful…
When I was brought low he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest…  (Psalm 116:5-7)

About John Fisk

I am a retired pastor, who served churches in New England for 33 years. I emigrated to the USA from England in 1974 and completed two graduate degrees in theology and pastoral practice at Andover-NewtonTheological School. In retirement I am focused on the teaching of Christian meditation, providing spiritual guidance, leading retreats and occasional preaching. I am particularly interested in contemplation, the mystical path and social justice.
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2 Responses to Thanksgiving on Recovering from Illness

  1. Wendy says:

    John, I’m so glad that you have both recovered from an awful ordeal. Doesn’t it feel wonderful “just” to feel back to normal?! There is a sometimes a big difference between cure and heal, and while there is not always a cure, there can always be healing.

    • John Fisk says:

      Thanks, Wendy. The learnings from such an ordeal are vivid close to the time, and I am full of resolution to live more faithfully, some of which fades with time.

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