I have had a string of unfortunate events connected to layovers in Chicago. The latest hit me hard Saturday night in the form of food poisoning compliments of one of those famous deep-dish pizza joints. As I lay awake all night nauseously awaiting my next episode of puking my brains out, I got to thinking about 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Eventually I realized my life was not in jeopardy (there were moments where I wondered), so as I lay in bed I decided to come up with ten things I was thankful for. Here is what my sleep deprived mind came up with:
1. I believe I’ll have more empathy toward others who are suffering with sickness. Many people deal with this as an ongoing trial instead of an isolated incident.
2. I am humbled to consider the weeks of nausea my wife suffered during each of her pregnancies. Four times she spent months like this and never complained. She always fulfilled her responsibilities with grace, class, flare, and general awesomeness she is known for.
3. I am humbled by the weakness of my flesh. As tough as I think I am, I was utterly reduced by this stupid bacteria or whatever causes food poisoning. Laying on the tile floor at 3am makes you laugh at your pathetic self with no mercy.
4. I am thankful that this was temporary, and that my resurrection body will never have to endure it. Within 24 hours I was fine and learned my lesson regarding layovers in Chicago.
5. I am thankful that I live in a day and age were it is more convenient to be sick. It was about -25 outside and if I had to run to an outhouse in the snow every time I needed to hurl, that would really stink in a huge way.
6. I am thankful that food is in such abundance, and so affordable, that I can buy it in an airport between flights…even if it almost kills me.
7. I am thankful that this is the extremely rare exception and not the rule when it comes to daily life. I know in many countries the poor suffer like this regularly.
8. I am thankful that of all the Saturday nights this could have happened, it happened on one of the very few in 2013 where I didn’t need to preach the next morning.
9. I am thankful that I can’t pass this on to anyone else in the family. Of all the people who could have gotten it, I am glad it was me an no one else.
10. I am thankful that the sovereignty of God rules over bacteria and their effects. He uses sickness to correct his children sometimes, and all trials work together for good, so in the end this is exactly what I needed. That said, hopefully I won’t need something like this again for a long time.
New Years Resolutions:
1. Never, ever, under any circumstances eat at Reggio’s Pizza in Chicago O’Hare.