When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”~Exodus 18:14 NLT
Sick in a Foreign Land
“Samantha.” My voice wasn’t even a whisper. “Samantha. Help me.”
The door to the bathroom was cracked, but there was no way Samantha could hear my weak cries for help. I had been up for hours, stuck on the toilet, with a trashcan in my lap. Never in my life had I been that sick.
Samantha, our Chinese translator, and fellow believer in Christ, warned me. “Chreeesty, I am so hungry all the time. I never am full. I have a wairm.”
“You have a what?” I asked her.
“A wairm. In my stomach. You know, a wiggle wairm, like a snake.”
“Ohhhh, you have a worm. Like a tapeworm in your stomach.”
“Yes. We have many wairms in China and parasites. Be careful not to drink the water or eat bad food.”
Somewhere along the line, I failed to heed her warning, because here I was, sicker than sick. In less than four hours, I was expected to accompany my team on a six-hour hike to the top of a mountain. How was I ever going to hike if I could barely utter a plea for help?
The next morning, our team assembled outside the clay-brick hotel in which we slept. I ate a package of peanut butter crackers and prayed as I’d never prayed before.
My feet felt like lead, but somehow, they lifted again and again. One of the guys carried my pack for me. I honestly don’t remember how I made it to the top, but six hours later, we shared Jesus with a village that had never heard His name until it escaped from our lips.
Sick at Home
“David,” I whispered. “Help me.”
This time I was in bed with the flu. My high fever and frequent bathroom trips–not to mention I was still nursing our eight-month-old son–made staying hydrated a huge struggle.
I don’t know if it was fever or dehydration, but late one night, my heart began to race, followed by a wave of intense nausea. I called for help, and my husband carefully led me to the bathroom, holding my arm to steady me. As I reached for the doorknob, my body let go, and I collapsed on the floor.
The next moment I remember was an EMT shaking me, telling me to try to stand. I. Could. Not. Stand. When they loaded me onto the stretcher, my heart rate was 225 and wouldn’t slow down.
I was in and out as they loaded me onto the ambulance. They took several measures, but finally, one of the guys said, “We are going to have to restart your heart.”
Terrified doesn’t begin to tell you how I felt. I thought of my four-year-old and how much he needed his mama. And my eight-month-old who had never taken a bottle, only breastmilk. What if my heart never started back?
Thankfully, I had wonderful medical attendants, and I was home the next afternoon. Still incredibly ill, but grateful to be alive.
Sick in Sin
“I need help,” I finally admitted.
I will never forget the day that a friend cared enough about me to confront my sin. Confrontation is possibly the bravest act of love one human can offer another—especially a fellow believer. I had been silently struggling with addiction for over a decade, making justifications and excuses far too long.
Broken doesn’t begin to describe what I experienced. When sin has taken the driver’s seat, removing it from that controlling position can drain a person dry. Fighting old habits, learning new ways to handle life, no longer running away but learning to fight—it was exhausting. Sleepless nights of battling my thoughts. Wearisome days of guarding my mind and actions. Learning to lean on others and invite accountability. I was so sick with sin. Sometimes, I wondered if I would ever get fully well or if I was destined to struggle forever.
Slowly, through counseling, friendship, and full dependence on the Lord, hope returned. God’s Word was the balm that my soul was missing, and His grace was the blanket that nursed me back to health.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sin. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.~Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT
There comes a time, whether physically or spiritually sick, when we must utter the bravest words we might ever say: I NEED HELP. Even if only in the faintest whisper, recognizing we will never get well alone is a huge part of maturity.
Without Samantha and my team helping me climb the mountain or my husband holding me as I walked to the bathroom, I would never have made it. If my husband hadn’t called 911, I would have died on that bathroom floor. And without my friend confronting me in my sin, I would have died in my sin.
Only through the help of others and my Savior can I ever get truly well. We were never made to do life alone. We all get sick sometimes and have moments when we must have help.
Are you willing? Are you asking? Are you seeking the one who can heal it all?
Father God, I can’t do it alone. Please give me the courage to utter the words, “I need help!” In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: The Bravest Words I’ve Ever Uttered: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved