Fever In The Night
I carefully tucked the mosquito netting tightly around the bed, climbed in, and then made sure I closed my entry point. Malaria carrying mosquitos came out at night in Webuye, Kenya, and they needed to be outside my tent. I was quite confident that I didn’t have any exotic tropical disease (only the beginning of a sore throat and fever), but when you’ve got the chills and start going from hot to cold in the night, all kinds of strange visions flood your mind as you hover on the edge of sleep. “LORD, I’m supposed to help baptize nineteen in the morning and right now even the thought of getting in cool pool water early in the morning makes me shiver. You’ve got to use the antibiotic I just swallowed to shake this infection.”
It’s amazing how a little physical affliction gets me serious about connecting with my Heavenly Father and remembering how dependent I am on His Word. The skilled poet in Psalm 119 knew this power of “affliction” and in the Teth section of his Hebrew acrostic poem, he stressed this connection twice.
“Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey Your Word.” - Psalm 119:67
“It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.” - Ps 119:71
I slept eleven hours that Saturday night and felt fine in the morning. No problem with the baptisms except the need to comfort Kenyans who are petrified of water. As I think again about how weakness and some suffering moves me to lean harder on the LORD and His Word I realize an interesting irony. In the pastorate I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just won the lottery” or “There’s oil on my land and I’m a multimillionaire. Man, do I need to trust God and His Word!”
LORD, thanks for how You use a little physical weakness to move me to serious prayer in the night for You to give me strength. I don’t know whether it was only Your touch or whether You used the antibiotics, but thanks for helping me to feel strength in the morning and for the rest of the Kenya trip.
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