Cold and Colder

The sickness

When I was younger my parents would often tell me and my brother that we needed to go outside when it was summer time and enjoy the weather instead of playing video games all day. Most often times when me and my brother would go outside, we would pick up the sandy dirt clumps that often could be found in farmers fields that lay fallow and would act like they were grenades. We would lay on the ground in a grassy field and toss them over our heads into the dry field. Just like the guys in the movies did when they were in a bunker fighting off an enemy. The obvious sound effects associated with war movies were obligatory to tossing one of these dirt ball grenades. Some times if we got really bored with that we would start throwing them at each other to see who could take the most dirt grenades to the shirt or pants without mom noticing where we had been.

When winter time came around the same sort of scene unfolded, only this time, we had forts of snow and an almost unlimited supply of white, fluffy, frozen water grenades. This made for some really fun times and some really not so fun times. I took building my fort so seriously one time that I took my glasses off because they would fog up and hinder me from completing the job. I lost my glasses to the white wilderness that lay outside my doorstep that day. My father was not very thrilled about it, but by golly my fort was well prepared for battle. After three days of being a blind bat walking around in the daylight, my father came across my glasses in the driveway at our home. They were fully intact thankfully.

This whimsical scene played itself out almost every winter until I started to get in to my teenage years. As much as I enjoyed those times outside with my brother in the snow, most of the time I would end up sick from breathing in so much cold, dry air. When I got sick it was typically a runny nose accompanied by a full box of Kleenex. After having a raw nose for a week I would be right back at it again in the snow until I got sick again. Sometimes this would happen once or twice during the winter, then I would take it easy for the rest of the season. Through all of the dirt slinging and snow ball tossing, I thought my immune system was like an iron fist that could knock out any disease that decided to come my way.

One year in particular will forever be etched into my mind though. It started with a runny nose which then turned into a cough which then turned into a fever. Up to this point in my life I had only experienced a couple really high fevers, but this one took the cake. It will probably take the cake for the rest of my life.

Day 1

It started as a fever of about 99.8. I began to feel drained after waking up with the chills. I knew I could not go outside with my friend Old Man Winter, so I stayed inside and watched Christmas movie after Christmas movie. It is not as fun to do when you don’t feel the greatest. By the end of the day, my temperature had risen to 103.5.

Day 2

I woke up feeling even more drained than the day before, but this was different. I measured my temperature that morning and it had stayed the same as the night before. Yikes! I had never had a temperature so high that lasted so long, but I was to lethargic to do anything about it. So I spent yet another day on the couch eating overly salty chicken noodle soup out of a can.

Day 3

Lethargic did not come close to describing how I felt on that day. Zombie would be a closer description since my movements were slow and almost empty of thought. I was so void of energy by this point that a snail could have lapped me a few times on my way to the couch. My temperature on that morning was 103.5. No, the thermometer was not broken.

Day 4

Day

“Hello darkness my old friend.” Those lyrics come to mind when I think of this day. I was beaten down. I felt as thoughts were taking place outside of my brain. My temperature on that day? 103.5. What else can I say? I felt like death. I was truly giving up at this point. My last shred of energy was being ripped up by my efforts to think about how terrible I felt.

Night

In the darkness of the night I was weak. It was 2 a.m. and I awoke to the aching of my body yet again. I took my temperature in hopes of soothing my mental state of agony. Unfortunately that did not happen. My temperature was higher then before. 105. I was done. I surrendered myself to whatever God had planned for me from that point on.

Day 5

Dazed and confused, I woke up wondering how I survived the night. I read my temperature that morning and it was still 103.5. Hey, at least I was consistent with something. My mom decided my stubbornness could no longer continue. I went to the doctor and was finally prescribed the medicine that lead to my recovery.

The Application

To those parents out there reading this, it was my choice to wait as long as I did for treatment. I thought my immune system would do kick this disease in the proverbial kidney and I would be on the road to recovery in no time. Obviously this was not the case. Among all of this though, I realized a few things.

Who do you rely on?

In my time of sickness I wanted to be strong on my own. I was being foolish. I was relying on my own strength. 2 Corinthians 1:9 states this perfectly, “Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

What ruins you?

I am a big science nerd and I have no problem admitting it. One of the things science has discovered within the past century is just how infinitesimally small a virus is. Viruses are so tiny that you need an electron microscope to see them! This makes me think of sin and how we sometimes think, “Oh it’s okay. It is a little sin.” Do you think it is okay if you get a “little” virus? No, your body does not want any of that stuff inside of you. Much like our body responds to a virus, I think we should similarly respond to sin in this way. So the next time you think about sin, just remember how a virus that takes an electron microscope to view can reek havoc on your body.

How much have you really given Him?

Are we scared to admit we do not have a plan? Are we afraid to trust Him fully? Why!? He gave us life. No, let me rephrase that. He gave us life everlasting! So what have we given Him? Two hours on a Sunday and an hour at the local charitable organization of our choice? I am not saying that is bad, but is that really all we have for the one who gave us everything that we have?

I believe God kept me alive that night. He kept me around to tell this story and to tell you that He can do incredible things if you just trust in Him! I pray that you never have to experience what I did for those five treacherous days, but I do pray that God gives you the courage to act when He tells you to. Trust Him and live it out.

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