I recently recovered from a cold. It began gradually. I noticed that my throat hurt a little with every swallow. I thought to myself, “I’ve had sore throats before. I’ll just wait a week, and everything will be fine.”
Of course, once I got in the middle of the illness, I lost my patience. The lack of control, fits of coughing, and sleepless nights got to me. I tossed and turned. I wanted the cold to end, and immediately.
It was easy to feel sorry for myself in that situation. How should I react?
I had wanted to get so much done that week. I thought I would have plenty of time for spiritual reading, prayer, and sleep. My plans were thwarted, but God had something better in mind.
Even when we have no control over a situation, God is in control. The Lord provides even in times of trouble. He provided for me when I was sick and felt helpless. Other student brothers noticed I was under the weather and made sure I had what I needed. We were about to start a retreat, so there was plenty of time to rest. One brother even offered his retreat room with a private bathroom—a rare commodity—to me for my convenience and to limit the spread of germs to others.
In the midst of illness, God gave me things to be grateful for. One of my friends was recently diagnosed with swine flu. He was more worried for his wife and two young daughters than he was for himself. I live with brothers who are worried about my health, and I do not have dependents. Another friend also came to mind. He was born with a defect in his esophagus and has undergone multiple surgeries over the span of thirty years. My weeklong illness was nothing in comparison. My illness made me realize how much God has looked out for me. This reflection encourages me to be grateful and faithful to Him.
To see the Lord’s hand at work in everyday circumstances requires the eyes of faith. The world would have you think that autonomy and self-sufficiency reign supreme. The Christian knows better. Let go. Recognize your dependence on Him. You are not in control. God is.
Br. Luke Maria Lee, O.P. | Meet the Student Brothers in Formation HERE