“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
A bit of personal info about me—I have Addison’s Disease. I was diagnosed three years ago when I went into acute adrenal failure and had to be hospitalized. Fun, fun.
You don’t want all the (boring) details, but in a nutshell, my adrenal glands died. My auto-immune system destroyed them, leaving me without any adrenalin and all the lovely ways it nourishes the body’s chemistry.
So now, I take medicine every day, just to survive. My cellphone is set with multiple alarms as reminders to take my pills at just the right times. And it’s permanent…I’ll deal with this for the rest of my life. Fortunately for you, Addison’s is very rare, affecting only about 1 in 100,000 people. Gee, I’m so special.
But before you feel sorry for me, I can assure you that if I had to choose a life-threatening illness, Addison’s is the one. The medicine is inexpensive and easily available. I don’t have to undergo chemo or surgery. I don’t have to check my blood levels all the time. I have renewed energy and can live a normal life. Praise God from whom these blessings flow!
One of the “side effects” is wearing a medical alert stainless-steel bracelet. It has important information for medical staffers in case I have an emergency situation, which I haven’t had so far. I leave it on 24/7, and honestly, I just forget about it most of the time.
Lately, though, I’ve taken an extra interest in this little bracelet. I realized that, like my phone alarm, it’s a reminder—that every breath I take is a gift from God.
When I’m undergoing a tough moment, a faltering faith, or even just irritability, I can look at this bracelet and see a “red alert.” It symbolizes all that is possible with our Lord…that His strength and grace are sufficient to cover all my needs and wants.
It’s especially good at helping me recover my gratitude attitude. It reminds me that health is a huge blessing, topping all other wishes for what I might have among the good things in life.
Perhaps you have a “thorn” in your flesh, which is how the apostle Paul described his ailment. Maybe you’ve been given some sort of illness or yucky situation. I’m sorry. I understand, especially if it involves some sort of chronic pain or constant treatment. It can wear you down and rob you of joy.
If you wear a “medic alert” bracelet, too, I encourage you to look at it in the same way as tying a string around your finger—a reminder that God’s love is still in working for you, that His Holy Spirit is still giving you life, breath, and purpose.
Or, if you don’t have one, consider getting some sort of wristlet that will keep you focused on gratitude…one that is just for cultivating thankfulness in your heart. As you move it around on your arm, let it bear witness to your spirit and to others that you belong to a great and mighty King Jesus who takes care of you. Let it infuse contentment and liberty for your soul. Let it save your day and your life.
Take heart, friend. These worldly afflictions are only temporary. One day, we will be whole when God gives us our new bodies in heaven. Until then, may you be constantly aware of His presence, grateful for His providence, and comforted by His Spirit. Set yourself an “alert” to choose joy!
O happy day, whenever I remember all that You have done for me, Lord! Thank You for life, breath, and the privilege of being called Your child. Keep me close to Your presence, and help me to have compassion for all those who suffer through daily afflictions…renew their joy, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photos)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Rebecca Henderson, MS Author, Serving with SignificanceAvailable on Amazon Blogging as “As We Serve With Significance”