If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God—the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed.
- Deuteronomy 28:58-61
Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,” he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.
- 2 Kings 8:7-11
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
- Psalm 41:1-3
For those that may not know, I am recovering from the latest variation of COVID. I have no idea where I got it. When I first had symptoms, I thought it was a really bad sinus infection, something I had a lot of my last two years of high school. Sick? Yes. Very sick? Yes.
But most of the difficulty breathing was a completely shut off nasal passage and then a bit of panic. I would get a tightness in my chest and get the idea I needed more air into my lungs and it would not go. Then my analytical side would say, “Calm down. You are sitting down. You do not need that much air in the first place. Slowly breathe in. Your mouth can deliver more than your nose anyway. Now slowly exhale.”
I figured that if I could convince myself that even with reduced capability, I still had enough, then worry and panic would be gone. With worry and panic, the heart pumps faster and needs more oxygen. That would be a bad idea. But to be honest. I had few times that the chest tightness got in the way of breathing.
The thing was that I just relied on God, but then I had questions about quarantine and other things. I called the doctor and the nurse practitioner prescribed the new drug to get me back going faster. I do not know if it helps a lot, but I finally got a good night sleep after taking the first dose.
The sleep seems to be the big problem with everyone. Your breathing is more difficult lying down, and sitting up makes sleep more difficult, or at least unnatural for most people. For me, I could not use the CPAP. I have used it for over eight years, and I found that I could sleep without the CPAP – in fifteen-minute increments with a lot of pacing around the house between those increments. I averaged less than an hour of sleep per day over three consecutive days. I think I could have taken a multi-vitamin and gotten a good night sleep after that. It did not take a new drug to get sleep in that condition.
But this is a tale of two tests. My wife has many of the same symptoms, but she is not running a fever (my fever was low and inconsistent). My wife is always focused on not being a burden on anyone, including the doctor. Her self-medicating was working, in her way of thinking, which usually meant pneumonia a week later. I nearly had to tie her down to get her to take the home test and she tested negative for COVID, just as she had tested negative for breast cancer a few days earlier. In fact, while she was getting her biopsy, I was in the waiting room hearing people tell the receptionist that they did not have COVID symptoms, and they will not reschedule their test. Maybe one of them lied about that.
But for any who have the symptoms, get tested. For those in the USA on Medicare, you are allowed a free box of COVID test kits for home use each month. In the photo above, the test with both the “T” and the “C” colored is a positive test for COVID (mine). If only the “C” stripe appears, the test is negative for COVID (my wife’s).
The protocol these days is to isolate in quarantine for five days. Then for five more days, if you must go out, you wear a mask and limit human contact. That is where I am now, able to get out with a mask if I have to. Of course, you could take another test and if negative for COVID, the mask could come off a bit early.
The problem is that this latest variant is such a mild form, you might think you have something else.
But in my case, God has been my guide. I will still test my wife again, but her not being sick thus far has been a blessing. She has not missed her dialysis.
As for the Scriptures, the Deuteronomy Scripture is talking to an unfaithful Israel, but it can apply to us today. The COVID pandemic should have brought people back to church, to repentance, but that does not seem to be the case. There are still far too many empty pews.
In the second Scripture, the king of Aram is sick. Elisha is consulted and Elisha sees that the king will not die of his illness. Rather, the king will die at the hands of Hazael, the king’s trusted right-hand man. Thus, Elisha weeps, seeing the atrocities Hazael will perform.
But in the third Scripture, God is faithful to us, for those of us who have a regard for the weak. God will be by our side in the sickbed.
I felt God’s presence. God is good.
NOTE and Prayer Request: My Wife tested positive for COVID after I posted this. The doctors are quickly moving toward getting her better due to her multiple health issues. I still praise God in that she got ill after I was already on the mend.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
Get well, Mark!
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Thanks, already on the mend, but not ready to retake the test.
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