I am down for the count again with allergy based illness. Sigh....this morning I was thinking back on some of my favourite places to live, places where it seemed I actually had a life, places where I was actually healthy, places like Tokyo and Calgary and Vancouver and even little Moose Jaw SK. I realized they all have one thing in common: no rural farm chemical sprays, no grain dust, no dairy or other cow related odors. In other words, there has been another reason I haven't even thought of until today, for being far happier living the city life.
As I think back to other places we have lived that were more rural, I can trace almost all of my allergy related illnesses over the years to those towns. Now I find myself in that position once again. I live 3 blocks from a large set of grain elevators, 3 blocks from fields of grain, people here use strong chemicals to spray the dandelions and other weeds in their yards. There seem to be no chemical spray bans here.
Finding myself ill again for the past 2 days, I have been tempted to feel discouraged about life in general. What is the point of anything really? What good have we done in our years of ministry? What good are we to the people of our present flock? What is going to happen to our small struggling congregations over the next year or two? What if we don't have enough money when it is time to retire? Is God going to quit providing at retirement age after being so faithful in his provision thus far? You know how it is when you allow your thoughts to start ambling down that path and suddenly the floodgates of doubt open wide.
A few minutes ago I listened to a sermon a friend of ours gave at his church last Sunday. I hadn't had time to hear it when he first sent the link and that is no accident. Today I needed to be reminded of the struggles in faith of the biblical saints, how they screwed things up royally and yet God was with them. No matter what their doubts led them to do that was less than obedient to God, no matter their struggles to be hopeful, he was always there for/with them, encouraging them along, pushing, pulling, getting them to where they needed eventually to be.
My hope is restored. This time of illness too will pass. I will be healthy again. I won't feel discouraged for much longer. I will stop worrying about the future and live one day at a time again, in peace and joy.
A timely reminder: thank you Bullwinkle for your Spirit inspired words.