Give Thanks (187/365)

There are at least 2 things I’ve learned and I’ve wanted to share – stuff that I’ve realized between my feeling sick starting a little more than 2 weeks ago, up until today.

The jury’s still out as to why exactly I felt the way I did that Saturday morning, but I’m reducing my suspicions to two possibilities: That I was bitten by another dengue-laden mosquito, and/or I worked out a bit too hard the day before. Either way, the said workout was probably THE factor that brought down my resistance, and I was a prime target for whatever this sin-laced world threw at me.

And that leads me to the first thing I want to share: Don’t wait until your body forces you to rest, because then, you’ll be resting – not for a day, not for a couple of days, but weeks.

I believe this happened to me a couple of years before – well, maybe a little more than a couple of years, anyway – it was right around a time that I got me a new camera, and I thought I’d brave the elements by testing my gear, shooting around the neighborhood. I remember the shots weren’t even that great, and I also remember that I got home that say feeling a lot more than exhausted – I felt symptoms similar to what I felt starting a couple of weeks ago. I remember it also took me a longer time than I expected to recover.

Fast forward to today, and I guess I forgot that hard lesson, because I took it in pretty hard again. I suspected dengue because of the high fever I was feeling, coupled with body pains and a headache that just wouldn’t go away. My suspicions may have been allayed just a bit when I found out that papaya leaf juice wasn’t doing its thing, just like it worked wonders just months earlier, when it was at least confirmed that I had a low platelet count (technically, I wasn’t diagnosed with dengue – the blood test resulted in a negative for some reason).

Whatever it was, it was able to creep in, because I believe I lowered my resistances so dangerously low, that my body paid the price – for at least 2 weeks, it paid the price. I want to note that throughout all this, I still chose to stand on the pulpit and preach, and let me tell you, I did not run short of words exclaiming just how thankful I was to God for His faithfulness, even in the times that the pain left me so short-sighted that it didn’t feel like faith was in the picture.

Yesterday, for no apparent reason my head hurt again, just like it did the very first day I felt it. Fortunately that’s the only thing I felt, as far as symptoms go. There was a little bit of a feverish feeling but my trusty digital thermometer indicated I was literally cool, and besides, I guess I ought to have been a little more thankful because I wasn’t feeling any body pains. As I mentioned yesterday I guess it was a pill of ibuprofen that calmed me down.

So it didn’t seem like the issue has totally subsided… but today, I forced myself to work out. Nothing too fancy, just getting myself back into the grind, just me ‘recalibrating’ my body to get used to the movements again: 12 minutes of light boxing on the heavy bag, followed by 5 sets of 10 pushups and 10 reverse lunges, and then 5 sets of 10 4-count flutter kicks and 10 deep squats. It’s been around a half hour since I finished my workout. Since then I’ve bathed and, yeah, now I’ve fired up the laptop and am now writing all about it. Not really feeling anything drastically wrong, but I am feeling just a little lightheaded. Maybe it’s because I started taking my (supposedly natural) pre-workout drink again – it’s a combination of jitters and stuff.

But, well, so far, so good. Leads me to the second lesson I want to share: Don’t get used to nursing yourself. Don’t wait until you ‘feel’ ready before you try to integrate more movement into your day again. Take some steps back into it, even if you hate it.

I mean, that’s what I did, and I feel a whole lot better now. Still monitoring what my body feels, but overall, I think the endorphins have been welcomed back graciously. It also sort of helped that I was just praying out loud while I was doing the boxing. I was saying stuff like, thank God for every punch, every beat of my heart, every breath.

I guess that’s a bonus lesson? It always helps to be thankful, whether you are in and out of season, whether you feel your overall being is at 99 percent or 9 percent. I suppose it isn’t a distraction from the pain; No, I think thankfulness is us actually acknowledging the pain for what it is, yet giving Christ and His finished work more of our focus; and, again, this is something we are drawn to doing by the Holy Spirit alive in us, whether we are in the top of our game, or dragged into the sidelines.

Yeah. Through all this I am thankful. Throughout all this God has been faithful. Throughout all this, God has been so, so good. And sure, that song still speaks volumes to me and those around me, but for purposes of this set of a thousand words, I’d like to end with a good old classic by the legendary Don Moen:

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”

Let the poor say, “I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us”

I will try to produce another thousand words within the day. Until then, I also want to share that I am thankful for you, dear reader. May the Lord bless you in all things. Till next time.

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