(Warning: Some gross content below. Not for the squeamish!)
There is something motivating about finding blood coming out of places it has no business exiting…like in pee. Yesterday morning I lay in bed and stretched and prayed and asked the Lord to direct my paths…that I would do his will with my day, not mine. He answered me in a painful way…
Yesterday afternoon I discovered the aformentioned blood and got myself quickly to the doctor. Understand, I am not someone who loves going to the doctor. I actually get anxious about all those doctor’s office germs floating around everywhere. But give me some pain when I pee, coupled with lots of blood, and I’m the first one out the door to the doctor’s office!
As I began taking antibiotics for a UTI yesterday evening, I sat and thought about how God so marvelously designed our bodies to tell us when something is amiss. Pain is one way we know something isn’t working properly. When I pulled a muscle in my back, it hurt. The pain made me slow down, and the muscle got better. When you’ve had a UTI before and experienced the searing pain of it, you know what it is. If you haven’t had one before and suddenly experience it, you get yourself to the doctor pronto because…well, it HURTS! And trust me. If you try to hold it so you can put off “going” and enduring the pain…it just makes the pain worse. I speak from experience here!
I’m into the second book of Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. The story of Hadassah is heartbreaking, moving, and jubilant all at the same time. I look at this fictional character Rivers has created and long to be in love with Jesus the way she is. I long to be able to face my fears and to put away my selfish desires so that I can JOYFULLY serve each and every day.
Oh, I serve all right. I serve pancakes and waffles and do laundry that never ends. I fry bacon and cook stew and clean up after my poor old dog. But sometimes my serving is done with a bit of swaggering, woe-is-me attitude. There I was this morning, standing over the stove making breakfast for my family when my back hurt and my bladder hurt and I wanted someone else to tuck the blanket around me and bring ME something to eat! Of course I’m too proud to ask for help. So I stood in pain and SERVED with a not-very-joyful heart.
And then I remembered Jesus. If anyone had any right to be waited upon hand and foot, it would be him. Yet I saw in my mind the picture of him washing the stinky, germy, dusty, grimy feet of his disciples. I’m sure he was tired, too, after walking all that way! But there was not a hint of anything except joy in his act of love. As I filled the coffee pot with filtered water for my hubby (which takes about four times as long as just using water from the sink, but when the local water is lake water, the filter helps take out that nasty fishy taste!)…as I stood and waited for that trickle of water to slowly fill up the pot…I saw in my mind’s eye women all over the world who, even today, must carry large jugs of water, sometimes on their heads, to the well to retrieve water for their families. The pity party inside shut off as I was reminded just how fortunate I really am! To not just have running water inside my home, but to have CLEAN, filtered water that tastes good and will not make us sick.
Where did those thoughts of Jesus washing feet and the women toting heavy water jugs come from? Just as our physical bodies give us pain or other symptoms when something is awry in our inner workings, God has provided the Holy Spirit…who Jesus said was the Counselor…who acts as our “sign” that something in our attitudes or thought processes just isn’t right. We get that twinge of conviction that draws us nearer to God, reminding us of His Word — especially when we are prone to ignoring it. And while the “sign” or “check” He gives us usually isn’t as bright as blood, it is noticeable if we will just listen.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27
So today I am thankful for the gift of antibiotics…
…but I’m especially thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who teaches me and instructs me and helps me become a new creature every morning.