Being Still

Monday night, the night before another doctor’s appointment, I was lying in bed expecting a sleepless night. Not that I wanted to go into a day of potentially bad news feeling tired and irritable, but I know the routine.

Earlier that evening, feeling on the brink of more life-changing news, I decided to make a list of everything that would definitely not change. I started naming them in prayer: “God, you and your character will not change; the work of your Spirit in my life; the work of your Son on the cross. None of these things changes tomorrow.”


But as I continued thanking God for his character that never changes, I realized that His plan for me also wouldn’t change. From God’s perspective, the only thing that could possibly change with bad news tomorrow was my knowledge. All else was firm.

The comfort of this truth began to lull me to sleep. And just before I drifted off, I thought of Ann Kroeker’s post from a couple of days earlier, and the verse she was working hard to remember in the face of a difficult day. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

I prayed that verse to the Lord as I let my breathing slow. “The Lord will fight for you,” I inhaled. “You need only be still,” I exhaled. And before I knew it, it was morning.

::

Today, I was forced to be still again. This time, not mentally or spiritually, but physically. The virus going around the office finally caught up with me. And though I got up for work, got dressed, and even drove to the office, I was there only a few minutes before I realized I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.

I quickly took care of the few details that required my attention, confessed to my boss that I was too big of a wimp to stick out the day, and then came home and spent the rest of the day on the couch.

I sipped chamomile tea, I dozed, I watched TV, I surfed around on my laptop a little. About 1:30 this afternoon, I made myself some lunch. Then hit the couch for more sipping, dozing, and watching. 

Memories of laying on the couch drinking Sprite and eating saltines flooded back from my childhood, though neither of those is permitted in my new eating plan.

If there were a magic pill I could take to be finished with all these cold symptoms, I’d be tempted. But maybe that’s why there’s no cure for the common cold yet. The Lord knew that some days we just need to lay still in order to be healthy.

::

My test results came back good again this time. Before I could even say “hello” to my doctor, he had me in a bear hug, saying, “You’re going to feel great when you hear these results.”

I thought about the past few weeks, how the uncertain PET scan interpretation had caused me to rethink my approach to cancer treatment. All of the dietary changes I have made and the vitamins and supplements I am taking might not even have been on the table had the results been more black and white.

Before I heard the news, Ann and I were talking about the possibility that things would look good and the difficulty in knowing whether all of these changes made the difference, or whether the cancer was never back anyway. My doctor brought up the same dilemma after I discussed with him what I am doing.

In the end, we all agreed that it doesn’t really matter.

The most my efforts can accomplish is to line up my life with the plans God has revealed. Even when it seems like I am doing the fighting, all I really am doing is resting.

The battle is the Lord’s.
::

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have received the good news from the doctor yesterday. That news only confirmed my commitment to healthier living. Many of you have mentioned that you would like to make some changes in your diets as well. I will try to post resources and recipes as I find them.

Also, I found this resources from WebMD about some natural “remedies” for the common cold. I was pleased to see that I had done most of them already today.

Photo by ell brown, via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.