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Fusing Faith, Food, Wellness and Mood 9 Gifts From the Sick Serious illness can make one feel irritable, impatient and useless. How is one to fulfill his or her God-given purpose if one is suffering from a prolonged debilitation? Isn’t there volunteer work to be done, junk mail to throw out, dust mites to tackle, snow mounds to shout at, smudges to un-smudge? And yet, we can be a blessing to others even when we’re sick, by manifesting the fruits of the Spirit. Several surgeries and aggressive chemotherapy left my dad too weak and in pain to sit up, eat, drink or get dressed. At his worst, my robust, hard-working dad looked as if he had been put in the dryer on extra hot, shrinking everything but his hands and teeth. I can tease him about it now because by the grace of God he has been healthy and strong and back to his former self for years. During that time of extreme agony he never lashed out, never lost his faith, and never became rude or self-loathing. He demonstrated love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to all those who came to nurse or visit; however, joy would have to wait. Pastor Don Piper’s experience in his book 90 Minutes in Heaven was quite different. In addition to his reports of his time spent in heaven, what intrigues me is how he felt during his years of recovery from a tragic car accident, when he was totally dependent and suffered intolerable pain. He described how challenging it was for someone accustomed to being the consoler to become the consoled. I esteem his honesty, vulnerability and humility as he apologizes for doing nothing exceptional other than simply existing during that time. He admits to being depressed and too proud to accept help.
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