Echoes From the Campfire

You have to fight for most of the things worth havin’, or somebody does.”
               –Louis L’Amour  (The Quick and the Dead)

     “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.”
               –Jonah 2:7 (NKJV)
Have you even been so sick you wished you would die?  The stomach is turning over and over, the fever is there and is raging.  You don’t want to eat, to think of food makes you gag.  You don’t want to stand and when you try you get woozy and vomit.  You just want to stay in a darkened room away from people, away from things, away from it all.  All you can do is sup on cool water.
     That’s where David finds himself in Psalm 41.  He is sick.  He recalls what the Lord has done, and then he cries for mercy.  Not for mercy only, but to pay back his enemies.

     1 – Happy is one who cares for the poor; the Lord will save him in a day of adversity.
     2 – The Lord will keep him and preserve him; he will be blessed in the land.  You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
     3 – The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed; You will heal him on the bed where he lies.
     4 – I said, “Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against You.”
     5 – My enemies speak maliciously about me: “When will he die and be forgotten?”
     6 – When one of them comes to visit, he speaks deceitfully; he stores up evil in his heart; he goes out and talks.
     7 – All who hate me whisper together about me; they plan to harm me.
     8 – “Lethal poison has been poured into him, and he won’t rise again from where he lies!”
     9 – Even my friend in whom I trusted, one who ate my bread, has raised his heel against me.
    10 – But You, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up; then I will repay them.
    11 – By this I know that You delight in me: my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.
    12 – You supported me because of my integrity and set me in Your presence forever.
    13 – May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised from everlasting to everlasting.  Amen and amen.

     One reason I like the Psalms is that they know how to speak to us.  I know of people who run hither and yon to various doctors and “healers”, yes, so who proclaim to be Christians.  They are told they are sick because of any myriad to reasons.  At the moment you don’t care about the reason, you just want to get over the sickness.
     We can trust the Lord when we are sick.  George O. Wood states that we can trust the Lord to:  1) deliver, 2) protect, 3) preserve, 4) bless, 5) not surrender us, 6) sustain, and 7) restore us.  A lengthy sickness might cause us to do some introspection.  Not only do we want healing for our bodies, but moaning and groaning will cause us to think of our souls as well.
     Notice how this Psalm ends–in praise.  It is important to stay in the right spirit when we are sick, knowing that the Lord has not abandoned us.  “Calm fills my own heart when I rest in God’s eternity and power rather than my own frailty and helplessness.  Even if my sickness separates me from my body, it can never separate me from Him, the Everlasting One.”  (George O. Wood)
          “O Love Divine, that stooped to share
           Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear;
           On you we cast each earth-born care,
           We smile at pain when you are near.”
                   –Oliver W. Holmes