Who knew suffering could be this good?

Last week, my family got hit with a really nasty cold virus. It started with one child, then spread through the rest of the family like wildfire. This was a quick onset,
take-you-down kind of viral attack. After 5 days, our house looked like a bomb went off inside of it. This illness was full of aches, pains and lost sleep. To sum it up in a word: suffering.

However, I looked at this week of suffering entirely different than I had in the past:

Being this miserably sick allowed us to cancel all outside activities and just “be”. We spent more time together as a family, even if we were not feeling so great. We even read a few classic stories out loud (whoever’s voice was working at that time), even if some fell asleep in the midst of it.

I had a chance to finally read some books and writings that fed my soul. The bonus was it was pretty much uninterrupted reading because my family was napping or just resting. Granted, I couldn’t read for very long or my mind would begin to swim. However, with this type of reading, you need time to digest the material anyway.

I realized why many holy people face illness. It gives them plenty of prayer time! I think I spoke more to God during those five days than I usually do in a few weeks. And it wasn’t just, “Please spare me from this illness!”

It may seem like a paradox, but I actually grew closer to God through me and my family’s illness. He gave me the strength to stay present with Him through this week and rely on Him in all things. And now that we are all recovered, I am still feeling God’s presence very, very close to me. Wow. Who knew suffering could be this good?

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