Sick for Christmas

Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion

December 12, 2020

Sick for Christmas

Luke 17:11-19

Being sick is never fun. Being sick during the Christmas holiday is the worst. Kathy and I had three occasions over the years when illness stuck one of us, and we were ill for Christmas.

The first time was in December of 1973. My wife, Kathy, and I had been engaged for about five months at the time. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, Kathy came down with the flu. She tried to be brave and come to the family Christmas party, but I had to take her home after less than an hour.

In 2012, Kathy came down with the flu again, and yes, it was Christmas Eve. She was supposed to sing in the choir that night, but I made her stay home, as she had a fever and cough.

Last but not least, it was my turn. The week before Christmas, I started not feeling well, a little “off,” as we say. Each day it got a little worst until I was very sick on Christmas Eve and Day. On the 26th, I began having horrible pain; my body would start to shake and hurt all over. The last thing I remember was taking a hot shower. I woke up in the ER, soaking wet from the rain, in a wheelchair. (Later, Kathy told me I had driven us to the hospital – to this day, I don’t remember doing that.) I was diagnosed with flu until the test came back negative. I had a lot of things going on that I won’t talk about here. Let’s just say I was “really” sick.

My fever got up to 105, the shakes and pain continued. The doctors put me on a morphine drip. It was 2 days later that a contagious disease doctor visited me in my room. She figured out what was wrong with me in less than five minutes.

My gastroenterologist had put me on a new medicine for my Crohn’s disease about ten days earlier. If there was a side effect, I had it. The doctor stopped administering that particular med, and within 24 hours, I was almost symptom-free. Unfortunately, the new medicine and side effects had wrecked my intestines, and I remained in the hospital for 9 days. It took over three months for me to fully recover.

Kathy and I were blessed. She had the flu twice, and both times she was healed. I was so sick that I thought I was on death’s doorstep. Yet, I was healed as well.

The New Testament is full of incidents of Jesus healing people.

In Mark 7, Jesus heals a deaf man.

In Luke 5, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law.

In Luke 8, Jesus healed the woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years.

Perhaps my favorite of Jesus’ healing is in the ten lepers’ story in the book of Luke chapter seventeen.

‘As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Jesus showed His compassion for these ten men who had a horrible skin disease. Yet, disappointingly only one returned to praise Jesus and say thank you. Remarkably that one healed man who returned was a Samaritan who were enemies of the Jewish community.

Jesus came for everyone, black. He doesn’t see race, creed, or color. Jesus only sees our hearts. Jesus healed those ten lepers, and I’m convinced that He healed and continues to heal Kathy and me after much prayer. Jesus is there for you too. Just call on Him, ask Him for your needs, and believe that He is your Lord and Savior because He Is!

Dear Jesus, you are the great physician. You healed so many in Biblical time, and you continue to heal us even today. Thank you for healing us of our sins through your death on the cross and resurrection for us. Amen.

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