Missing out When You Have a Chronic Illness (Part 1)

I keenly remember when I was in my twenties, running five miles a day and saying to myself that I would keep running until I was well into my eighties. Well, life changes and I was stricken with Multiple Myeloma at forty-nine. The deleterious effects of the disease and the treatments have resulted in me having a hip replacement, making it impossible for me to run as I did years ago. I often watch other runners on the roadside, in the park and other venues, feeling a bit disappointed; however, God blessed me with another activity which has worked just as well as running to strengthened my cardio vascular operations, bicycling.

Shortly after I went into remission, over seventeen years ago, I started riding a bicycle and I haven’t looked back. The latter part of last year, I was determined to be in relapse. The conditioning I’ve experience through the years has made it easier for me to undergo the treatments I’m now taking. God has even blessed me to have what’s known as a an “athlete’s heart”, resulting in me having a heart rate that’ s far below the normal sixty rates per minute. Mine is in the forty-eight to fifty beats per minute range. God is using me as a witness to the mighty power He possesses to heal and redirect activities I’m no longer able to perform. This blog fits my life so perfectly. I’m reblogging it, praying that others will read it and realize God always has something in store for each of us to be actively engage in witnessing His holy name.

Chronically Constant

Missing out When You Have a Chronic Illness Part 1 Cover

Last week a lot of the students in my youth group went to New York City on a service trip. They got to minister to the homeless and share the gospel with people who need Jesus. I, on the other hand, spent most of my week in bed. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. My Chronic illnesses frequently cause me to miss out on things my healthy peers are doing. Honestly, missing out on so many things is the absolute HARDEST part of my chronic illness. Everyone around me seems so energetic and active, while I often feel like I am not able to do much at all. I’m sure that everyone living with chronic pain and/or chronic illness has felt like this at least once. I know firsthand how difficult and saddening it is to miss out due to my illnesses, but as a Christian I…

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Beautiful streaks in the sky and life on my front door

The last few days, I’ve been feeling under the weather. I went to the doctor yesterday, fearful that I might have the flu, bronchitis or something worse. This afternoon I received notification that I have something called Parainfluenza 3. Yeah, I know, I had never heard of it either. I took to the internet, and the most trusted reference source known to mankind, Wikipedia. After discovering that Parainfluenza 3 is a viral infection, not quite as serious as good old common everyday flu, I breathed a sigh of relief. Still feeling bad, I took some time to sit quietly on my back deck, a couple of hours later after receiving news of my ailment.

It was a beautiful April evening; one of those evenings when you just know God had ordered it up just for you. The back my house faces Southwest. There’s a creek roughly forty yards beyond our privacy fence that provides quick drainage for shuttling water out of the neighborhood and into the river miles away, whenever there’s heavy rain. Immediately on the other side of the creek, there is well developed line of trees. The trees are boldly displaying their spring beauty this time of year. Houses are just beyond the trees, separated by well-kept back yards.

I don’t sit enough on my back deck, taking in all that’s presented. After sitting there for a few minutes, I noticed something amazing. It was about 7:15 in the evening, and the sun was making its way below the horizon, causing a vivid orange glow to fill the sky just above the tops of the trees. I considered the sky to get a better look of what I first thought was a star; however, on second glance I noticed this object had a tail. It was a jet, brightly reflecting the light the sun was shining on it. There was also the tell-tale line of condensation trailing the plane, as it made its way to who knows where. After only a few minutes, I counted five or six such sites in the sky, all seemingly taking paths that would have caused the vessels to collide with each other. On very close inspection, I also noticed some air craft flying closer to earth that weren’t navigating at high enough altitudes to create the reflective beauty of the high-flying jets. These streaks in the sky caused me to think of how Holy scripture tells us that we were made in the image of God. How else could I find myself enjoying such a sight had we not been created with memory, imagination and soul, giving us the ability engineer these airships?

As beautiful as the sky canvas before me was, taking it all in from the back of my house, I found myself thinking of something else too. We have always kept a wreath of some kind on our front door. A few weeks ago, I started to notice a bird flying off from somewhere each time I went out of the front door. I wasn’t motivated to investigate why this happened until my wife asked me one day to come look at a tiny bird egg, splattered on the concrete deck just beyond the threshold. The mystery was quickly solved when I considered the wreath and noticed a bird’s nest, containing several eggs. Why in the world would a bird build a nest in the wreath hanging on our front door? Was it because she noticed the two little decorative features (bird’s nests), which were part of the wreath? Maybe she thought this was a communal hatchery, offering her the opportunity to bring hatchlings into the world? My wife and I have been trying to be conscious not to exit and enter the front door, making sure that we always use our garage entrance for exit and entry into the house. Of course, guests visiting is something we can’t always control. Just the other day, we notice movement in the nest. The eggs have begun to hatch.

The experiences I had of sitting on my back deck, taking in all that’s around me, is one we all should enjoy on a regular basis. The jets flying at high altitudes, reflecting the evening sunlight, leaving streaks in that created an astounding sight. This is certainly one mankind’s God-given technological achievements; however, it can’t hold a candle to the simple act of a mother bird building a nest on our front-door wreath and us witnessing life coming forth a few days later.

Thank God for those streaks in the sky, most of all thank Him for the life He’s given that allows us to put them there.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.