I was proud of the fact that I had developed a very strong immune system. It hadn't always been that way. For a long time I would catch every bug that was around. It seemed that I just had to walk past a sick person and I would catch it. I knew exactly which times of the year I would catch a cold, and I would have at least two per year. But I worked hard to improve my immune system.
I ate the sort of foods that would strengthen my system and I exercised. I had realized that by not looking after myself I was being selfish, robbing my Lord and my family from a healthy version of me. As a result, in the last five years I haven't been sick once. There have been times when I could feel the cold virus coming on but my immune system fought it off. Imagine then how shocked I was yesterday to find myself immobilized by a flu virus.
Besides feeling like I was hit by a dozen trucks, I felt defeated. I was violently sick. I could barely breathe let alone move or think. I am not a person who vomits easily but I had lots of practice yesterday. I felt like a failure. I missed important meetings and I was no support to my wife and children at all.
Today, the illness is gone and I am simply trying to regain my strength. So what scripture should I read as I open my Bible this morning?
No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. ((Psalm 33:16-17)
A mighty man is not delivered by his great immune system. Of course it is not just about my immune system but is a foundational reminder that my strength is found in the Lord, not in myself. All strength in this world is going to fail at some point. We can do everything right and we will still fail. Our intellect will fail us, as will our health, so to our wealth. Relationships will fail as will our jobs and anything else we consider something to build our life foundation on. There is only one strength that will never fail us and that is Jesus.
A recurring lesson from Scripture is that Yahweh is searching the earth for those who are loyal to him so that he can glorify himself through them:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,On those who hope in His mercy,
To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine. (vv. 18-19)
We need to guard our attitude towards Jesus, that he remains the only one we lean on. He told us that if we build our life on him, our house will stand because all other foundations are as weak as sand. It doesn't matter how strong those relationships, finances, jobs, or immune systems look right now, they will fail you, but Jesus never will. That is our strength, our confidence, our joy.
I had no right to feel defeated yesterday. An imperfect thing failed yesterday even though I had done all the right things. However, Jesus didn't fail me. He didn't walk away in disgust. He sustained me yesterday so that he was my first thought upon waking this morning. And he was right here with me now to teach me something of which I needed reminding. It is in Jesus I trust, nothing else. He is my strength, hope, and song:
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name. (vv. 20-21)
All else will fail, but Jesus never will. I trust in his holy name.