For the first time in as long as I can remember, I got the stomach flu. Honestly, the last time I remember having the stomach flu was when I was about four years old. I’m sure I’ve had it since then, but I guess I’ve blocked it from my memory (and I now know why!). The flu is absolutely horrible – especially this season. I’ve been hearing people talk about how awful it is and boy are they right! As I was contemplating the pain and suffering of the flu and the purpose of it in my life …. I thought of some lessons to learn from it.

1. Pray for missionaries. People going overseas, especially to third world countries, experience the dreadful reality that their bodies are not used to that country’s water, food, culture, etc. Not only are they sick, but they’re in a foreign country! I can’t imagine how hard that must be.

2. Pray for the sick. In the grand scheme of things, the stomach flu is really not that big of a deal. There are others who are going through much worse than me (like cancer patients going through chemo and radiation who feel like this for months).

3. Let the body of Christ serve. I think sometimes we get to experience difficulties so that we can be humbled in asking for help, and others around us can serve. I was so blessed by my friend who got me 7-Up, Saltines, a can of chicken noodle soup, and Gatorade. Several other people also offered to get me anything I needed, which was so sweet. And I think when we’ve been blessed by someone like this, it makes us all the more willing to serve when the tables are turned and we’re the ones being asked for help.

4. Humility. There’s just something about laying on the bathroom floor that doesn’t leave much room for pride. And it really shows how small we are … we can’t even control our own bodies. A virus or bacteria (I’m not a science buff, I don’t know the correct terminology – sorry) is really, really tiny. But it can totally wipe us out! How powerful does that make us? (Not very!)

I’m thankful that my God is in complete control and that he has a good purpose in everything that He does!