I was sleeping soundly, when I awoke to: “Mama! Mama! My stomach hurts!” There in the doorway to our bedroom I saw my seven-year-old son, Joshua. I quickly glanced at the clock and saw 2:50 a.m. Oh, no! That usually means one thing: The Stomach Bug. This is a dreaded enemy at our house and at most homes with lots of children. Most of us have experienced the worst: this dreaded bug sweeping through the family—everybody down, usually overlapping each other. In large families, this means we have to block out the next week. The worst of the worst is when it knocks down mom and dad as well, each tossing coins (I said coins, not cookies!) and making bribes and taking turns attending to the nasty needs of the kids while having our own nasty needs to deal with.
Did you know there is now such a thing as Phenergan gel? A simply wonderful invention! A pea-sized dab on the wrist and relief comes! No more suppositories! I remember the first time my daughter, Katie, had the Stomach Bug at age two. When we told her how we were going to administer the medication, she had a horrified look on her face and said, “Why? My booty is not sick, it’s my mouth!”
At our house, we consider the Stomach Bug as major spiritual warfare! I am binding and rebuking, hesitantly laying on hands (because I don’t want it!), and resisting the urge to get out the oil and call in the elders! This is serious stuff for me! Can you tell? I hate the Stomach Bug! I hate to have it, see it, smell it, fear it!
When Joshua called to me that early morning, within two seconds, I had the following scenario racing through my mind: Mont is leaving town. Joshua will be the first of the five. What if I get it, too? Gosh! I have to get up in two hours for an early-morning radio interview! What if I throw up on the microphone! How will that sound over the airways?!! What if Mont throws up on the plane? What if our older children throw up at school? How embarrassing! Do we have any more red grape juice? (Yes, it really works!) As you can see, this is a problem area for me!
Then after two seconds of pity party, my mom instincts kicked in: “Oh, Baby, come here! Where does it hurt? Let’s make a pallet on the floor, right here by the bathroom! There, all comfy? Feel better?” And then he turned over, went back to sleep, and never had another problem. Must have been gas. Meanwhile, I was looking at the clock, knowing I would not be able to go back to sleep. As I lay there, I began to think of my extremely silly reaction to an unpleasant but very temporary event. What if I was that diligent about sin, which is not so temporary and has much greater repercussions?
What if I took the preventive measures as seriously for sin as I did for the stomach bug? What if I prayed as diligently for myself and others in their sin as I did for an upset stomach? What if I wanted spiritual healing as much as physical healing? Something to think about, for sure.