John Piper's Don't Waste Your Cancer is solid, thought-provoking, and challenging. But most of us don't have cancer, just now. In fact, most of us are probably in pretty good health, except for occasional bouts of yuckiness.
I'm coming off of such a bout. My youngest boys just returned from a week at Boy Scouts' camp, the last full day of which they spent with what seems to have been a touch of stomach flu. Theirs was evidently a hungry and ambitious bug, because it made a lightning-like leap to me (and possibly now my dear wife). The boys got home Saturday; by Sunday night, I was coming down with it; my Monday morning, I was laid low with it.
I'll spare you the gross details. (The boys didn't, however, bringing home photographic evidence. Boys; gotta love 'em.)
Worse than the dramatic eruptions (impressive enough to spark a nosebleed at one point) was this horrid pall of malaise, of just lacking the energy or drive to do anything but lie there and feel sorry for myself. My dear wife did what she could, but mostly I just needed to wait it out, get some liquid to stay in my stomach.
On the scale of human misery, it was a blip, not even a needle-mover. But it pretty much stopped me for a day.
Wish I could tell you I took the time to write a new improved Institutes, but I didn't, and that's the point. It's hard to rally yourself to do much when all your "rally" is languishing in the sewer. So here's what I was able to muster, which I share for any good it might do you when you get a dose of the yuckies:
- I did my Bible reading as devotedly as I could.
- I thanked God that I was spared until after I'd preached Sunday morning.
- I thanked God that I was spared until after I'd been able to enjoy family-time, barbecuing and blowing things up on the evening of the Fourth.
- I prayed for everyone else who was there, that they'd not get it.
- I thanked God that I am usually in relatively excellent health, and can't even remember for sure the last time I felt this bad.
- I thought of the people I know who are being treated for cancer; thought of how they probably usually feel this bad, and renewed my prayers for them.
- I thought of the sure reality that I'm living in a clay pot and that, if the Lord doesn't catch me to Himself first, one day it will fail and fall.
- I took joy in the truth and hope that one day I will be like Him, because I will see Him as He is, and He will transform my body to be like His — and then all "yuckies," and even all threat or possibility of "yuckies," will be forever a thing of the past (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:4).