I heard the clock chime for 5 AM as I stumbled my way from my bedroom to the kitchen. My body was feeling the dizzying and nauseating effects of a night of zero sleep, and I needed to put some food in my stomach to calm the growing intensity.
“What can I grab that’s easy and quick and won’t make me feel worse?” I wondered through heavy brain fog as I opened the fridge door and stared at its contents. My balance wobbled a little as I tried to think through my options. My eyes fell to a small square inside a plastic Ziploc bag.
Mom had made baked egg casserole for dinner the previous night, and there was one piece left over. I could eat that.
Too weak to stay upright long enough to warm it up in the microwave, I decided to eat it cold. Too drained to make it back to my room or even sit upright at the table, I settled on a halfway destination of the living room couch and laid down to eat.
After I finished, I curled up, snuggled down into the cushion, and pulled the blanket off the back of the couch to wrap around me.
“God,” I prayed, closing my eyes shut and trying to ignore the familiar ache in deep in my spirit, “Why does everything have to be so hard and awful? Can’t You give me even one good thing? One blessing? Why do You make my life so miserable?”
His answer came quicker than expected: In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Seriously? Give thanks? For what? Everything is bad,” I responded, tears now streaming down my face.
Is it? I heard Him ask, Why don’t you take a look around you? Consider the blessings you’ve already had this morning?
My mind ran through the past few minutes, blessing after blessing suddenly jumping to my mind:
-Our house doesn’t have stairs. I didn’t have to battle going down a staircase to get to the kitchen.
-Our refrigerator had been stocked full of food options. Many people’s fridges are bare.
-I had healthy, beneficial food. The mixture of protein and carbs in the baked egg was the exact nutrition combo that best eases my symptoms.
-We had a microwave to use if I’d wanted to use it. Many people have no choice of warming up their food.
-I had a comfortable couch to curl up on that was closer than my bed. I had a pillow to rest my head and a warm blanket to cover myself with. Not to mention, I was inside a temperature-regulated house and not out living on the street in the elements.
Another verse popped into my mind: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
-Every morning that I wake up – whether I’ve slept or not, feel good or lousy – my loving Heavenly Father is right there beside me, bringing me new mercy to meet each day’s struggles. He is faithful to supply everything that I need. They never run out. They are given afresh each new day.
More tears streamed down my cheeks, only this time not from an ache in my spirit, but from immense thankfulness for a God who gives me so many blessings.
About 5:45 AM, I managed to get back to my room and crawl back into bed. My symptoms were less intense, but still present. However, as I finally started to drift off to sleep, a calmness had settled into my heart.
Precious sisters in Christ, I know that chronic pain and illness easily cloud our perspective. I know it’s hard. I know it hurts. Please remember though that God has not left us without blessings. He loves us and takes joy in blessing us and caring for us. We might not see them right away, but if we only look around, we will find them and be reminded of our Father’s great love and compassion.