I woke up knowing it was going to be a long day! Every time I tried to swallow I got terrible pain in the back of my throat, my head and limbs felt heavy. Further inspection via the mobile phone torch confirmed what I thought….tonsillitis. Getting unwell at the best of times is never convenient, getting unwell when you are the primary carer of two young children requires some organisation!
My mother- in- law kindly agreed to come to my house while I dragged myself to the Dr. I wanted to confirm my diagnosis and see if medicine was needed. You feel fully justified in visiting the Dr when they peer into your throat and seem mildly horrified at their findings! “Oh Jo!” the Dr exclaimed “that’s nasty!”
The Dr reached for the sick note book, got the pen poised, then came the question, “Do you work or are you a stay at home mum?” I always find that question really hard to answer! If I say, “No I don’t work” that feels untrue as I do work. I work really hard. My working hours never actually stop… but I don’t have an employer in a company giving me wages. So in this instance I just croaked, “I’m a stay at home mum”. The sick note went back on the shelf! I felt like yelling (although my throat was too sore to talk, let alone yell) “No! don’t put it back! I need it! Everyone else gets signed off to recover, why not me? Isn’t there a sick note book for stay at home mums? You know, one that provides a nanny, a cook, a cleaner, or just some child care would be fine, even for an hour?” But no I didn’t say any of that. I just grimaced/smiled as the Dr kindly looked at me and said, “You’re very unwell, try to rest” then she laughed as she added “well as much as you can rest with two young children!”
Clutching my antibiotics prescription I stumbled out into the Pharmacy thinking, “thanks for nothing!” with images playing through my mind of other people with sick notes lying on the sofa watching daytime TV until they fell asleep and continuing so until they felt better.
Once home I managed to arrange someone to watch the children long enough so I could lie down for an hour. Climbing under those sheets in the middle of the day in a quiet house felt almost luxurious.
I was reminded of our reliance on physicians to treat our problem, on medicine to help us recover and on others to support us in difficult situations. I thought of our Heavenly Father who is the Great Physician. There is an old hymn that says, “The great Physician now is near, the sympathizing Jesus. He speaks the drooping heart to cheer, oh hear the voice of Jesus”. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds”. This verse shows that not only do we have a great physician to turn to who cares about our illnesses, but the fact that he also heals the broken hearted, shows his concern and care for emotional hurts and traumas that we have been through.
God’s love and concern for us doesn’t end there. Just like a sick note gives you much needed rest and a chance to stop and recover, we are encouraged in the Bible to rest as we can read in Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Also in Matthew 11:28 and Psalm 23 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. Matt 11:28. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul”. Psalm 23.
There are many verses that talk about God healing outward illnesses and mental illness and hurts and pain. Every ailment that we can possibly have. He also encourages us to find time to meditate on His word, to be still, to lie down, to rest. God knows that by doing these things and only by relying on Him, spending time with Him and resting we can be fully restored. Many people nowadays are awakening to their spiritual need and they are practising mindfulness, meditation and many other means to find peace and contentment and to improve their physical and mental well being. When people practice these things but remove God the Creator from them, the only option is to look within for our power and strength. God wants us to be still, to nourish our mind and bodies, the difference is that God knows that all power and strength and restoration comes from Him alone. When we combine God’s word, thoughts of His love to us with rest, prayer, stillness and with His help leaving behind worry, anxiety and grief the results can be fully transforming and restoring.
So whether your Dr is happy to give you a sick note or you don’t qualify for one remember the verse Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Whatever trouble you find yourself in today, whether it’s tonsillitis, a serious Drs report, the loss of a loved one, or difficulties in your life which seem too much to bear, or just generally overwhelmed with life please do today turn to the One is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work in us. (Eph 3:20)
Jo Le Page is a stay at home mum of two. She is a writer, singer/worship leader/songwriter/broadcaster and is passionate about encouraging mums on their journey. Follow Jo Le Page on her blog freshbreadandfaith.wordpress.com
And on Instagram instagram.com/freshbreadandfaith