The Flu. A Cold. Stomach Viruses. Even times of emotional stress. Let’s face it sickness runs around without any thought of who will be hit next. This year has been a severe year for the flu and colds in our church, and my wife and I also managed to catch it. Thankfully, we are on the upswing this week.
In Twenty-two years of ministry, I praise God that I have not missed preaching on a Sunday due to being sick. That isn’t to say I wasn’t sick, but that God managed to give me strength in such times to make it through. Then again, it may have just been my own stubbornness. I was raised not to miss work unless you absolutely have to, and that work ethic has kept me going at times in ministry too. About two months ago I was so sick on a mid-week service night that my wife and some of the parishioners sent me home. We live in a parsonage next to the church. I was so sick that night that I don’t even remember my wife coming home or coming to bed that night. I had no business being anywhere but in bed.
I may still keep trying to work as much as I can through sickness. However, I also must say that we as leaders are allowed to take the time to fight off sickness and restore the strength of our physical and emotional lives. I’ve always used care, not to go visiting other people while sick, but I still make phone calls and study. I am realizing over the years that there have been times I should have been in bed, and let others handle things. I’m also realizing that it’s okay. After all the only person the church is in absolute need of constantly is Jesus, and we need him too.
So, when you’re sick take the time you need to get better so you can get out there and help others. Never visit people when sick, because you are likely to spread sickness. When you’re well, think of the people who can fill in and help out during those times when you can’t be as available. Then trust God to let them handle things so you can get better. A few days off will not destroy your ministry, but pushing yourself too hard and not caring for genuine needs may destroy your life.
Blessings on the Journey