“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
About thirty years ago we lived in Visalia, California. While there I contracted a case of Valley Fever. It’s a fungal infection caused by coccidioides organisms picked up from the soil in certain parts of the southwest states. When stirred up by plowing or strong winds, the organisms can end up in your lungs.
Symptoms include fever, cough, tiredness, shortness of breath, headache, chills, night sweats, joint aches and muscle soreness and red, spotty rash. I can attest to each of them before it moved to its next level which included weight loss, chest pain and nodules in the lungs.
And that put me in the hospital overnight to make sure it hadn’t reached level three.
In two miserable weeks I lost over twenty pounds. I couldn’t eat an 1/8th pounder from MacDonalds (half of my wife’s quarter pounder!) I was as sick as I could remember being in my life.
When Joanie picked me up at the hospital, while attempting to consume my burger, we discussed what to do. The doctor said I desperately needed rest and I concurred. Joanie suggested we go home, load up the car and take off for Portland where family awaited.
On sick leave for at least the week, with no instructions other than “take it easy and get lots of rest” we headed north in the middle of the afternoon. A stop in Northern California for the night and then on into Portland.
I remember getting out of the car somewhere that second day, and one of those idyllic Northwest mists was swirling around. I lifted my face to the sky and felt the tensions release and a newfound love of life envelope me.
Not exactly sure why that story and particularly that short episode of upturned face came back to me this week, but maybe some of you need that kind of spiritual refreshing at this exact time.
We’ve been battling the virus, taking hits on our routines, careers, finances, relational bonds. We been frightened, angry, confused and we know some kind of infection has invaded our systems. The start of the good news is that God will not abandon you or let you be overtaken. Believe it with all your heart.
Now look up, right into God’s face, take note of his smile and feel the invigorating mist of his presence sweep over you. There is a cure for Valley Fever and anything you may have caught in this time of pandemic.
“So there is a full complete rest still waiting for the people of God.”
Hebrews 4:9 TLB