Sicknesses are our bodies’ way of shouting at us that something is already very wrong.
Last Wednesday night, I caught a fever. My fever lasted until Friday morning that’s why I wasn’t able to post last Friday. (Excuses, excuses.)
Whenever I have a fever, even a mild one, my temperature is always at the range of 38.5 to 39 degrees Celsius that I can feel the heat in my eyes. It also feels like the back of my head wants to break away from the rest of my head.
Whenever I have a fever, I really cannot do much but lie down and rest.
I do not take any medicine when I am sick because I believe that our bodies have what it takes to heal itself. (This is called antibodies. Nah, just kidding. I think it takes more than just our antibodies to fight diseases. Or, do they?) But, I take a lot of fluids to flush out any toxins and eat a lot of fruits to give my body the vitamins that can support it in healing itself.
The downside of this is that I do not get the temporary relief that paracetamols give every four hours. When I used to take paracetamol, my temperature would go down for a while giving me relief from my headache.
Because of my headache, I just take some time off my busyness and listen to my body.
Sicknesses are our bodies’ way of shouting at us that something is already very wrong. When we don’t regularly listen to our bodies by ignoring early signs of diseases or by not eating healthy food, not exercising, or not getting enough sleep, they shout.
When I am sick, I have no choice but to listen to my body. I am already in pain so I really need to figure out how to make the pain go away. I ask myself why I got sick. Maybe I caught a virus or I have an infection. Then, I go deeper. Maybe I caught a virus or an infection that my body had a hard time fighting because my immune system was weak. Maybe I am not eating right. Maybe I am not sleeping enough. Maybe I am not exercising enough. Maybe I am overworked or stressed out. (Or maybe I am overthinking... like always.)
When we listen to our bodies, we do just not look for ways to alleviate our pain now. We also look for ways on how we can avoid pain in the future by strengthening our immune system by eating healthier, sleeping better, exercising more, and dealing with stress better.
When I am sick, I also take the opportunity to listen to my soul. I may be overworked because I am working too hard for material things, for things that are not really necessary like gadgets or video games. (Nooooo!) Maybe I am working too hard not just because I want to provide for my family, but also to show others that I am finally making it in my career after years of struggling. Or maybe I am sick because of hopelessness or despair.
A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Finally, when I am sick, I take the time and opportunity to pray, to listen to what God has to say. I ask Him why He allowed me to get sick. In a podcast that I listened to, a priest shared that God has two wills: a divine will and a permissive will. (More on these in a later post.) Getting sick is a permissive will that God allows us to go through so that we can seek Him and listen to Him more.
Sometimes, He allows us to be sick so that we can have the privilege to participate in His passion and suffering. Sometimes, He allows us to be sick so that we can empathize with our brethren who are also sick. Sometimes, He allows us to be sick so that others can find hope, encouragement, and love from our sicknesses, just like how we find love and hope in the passion and resurrection of Jesus. And sometimes, God is just telling us to slow down.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24)
Don’t get me wrong. You also need to take your medicine. When you have a really high fever, you have to take your medicine. Medicines are a gift to mankind as well.
But sometimes, we must not just kill the symptoms by popping a pill. We also have to listen to the cries of our bodies and souls.
What do you do when you are sick?