9The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness: 10I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years. -Isaiah 38:9, 10 (KJV)
As I write this I am battling one of the worst head colds / flu sort of things I have ever had in my entire life. This has been nagging at me for nearly two weeks and the other day I began to feel a little better. I even began to feel kind of self-confident and was making plans to visit my favorite Chinese restaurant and enjoy the buffet. You know, sort of a reward for two weeks of stuffy head, runny nose, persistent cough and sinus headache. Sadly, this little infection had other plans. Late in the day this past Friday my cold came back with a vengeance. The next day, at the urging of my wife, I went to a local urgent care clinic and was found to have a fever of 102.4! I don’t think I have had a fever that high since I was a child.
Later one of my sons found out about my temperature and said, “Wow dad; you could have wound up in the hospital in a coma – your brain was just frying you know.” “Gee, thanks son.” I replied. His comment was honest, yet not too reassuring. Now, about that fever; the doctor immediately placed me on a powerful antibiotic and recommended rest, fluids, and chicken soup to keep up my strength. So, here I am trying to shake off this bug or whatever it is, and get on with my normal life.
I went back and read in Isaiah 38 about the illness of King Hezekiah of the Old Testament. He was a good king; he didn’t worship idols, he led the people back to the worship of God, and by all accounts he sought to be a good man who kept his faith. And then he was stricken with a sickness. In fact, Isaiah the Prophet confronted him and told him this sickness would lead to death and he would not recover (Isaiah 38:1). We don’t know the exact nature of the king’s sickness, yet it had the potential to be fatal. Earlier today as I lay in the bed, groaning, sweating, and aching all over, I couldn’t help but wonder about good King Hezekiah and his illness. For a while there I wondered if this is what it feels like to be in the throes of death. Was God getting ready to call me out of this world? I began to wonder, for as I said this was as sick as I had been in my life.
Hezekiah did not give up. The Scripture says he prayed and asked the Lord for healing. God answered the king’s prayer and granted him 15 more years (Isaiah 38:2-5). What a relief to begin to feel better. Once I am over this illness I intend to throw myself back into my ministry with a new sense of gratitude for my health. Who knows when any of us might be called out of this world? Let’s be sure to make the most of life and every opportunity the Lord gives us. May we ever be faithful with the time we have.
In the meantime I am waiting for the antibiotic to take effect in earnest. What is needed is more rest, so I am going back to bed now. See you next time.