I have had allergies all my life. As a child, it was actually nosebleeds. Really bad-take you out of church or school-carry kleenex (or toilet paper) with you at all times-sitting there with your head up (or is it down) for hours. Then, my nosebleeds evolved into allergies. Go to weird Dr. ________ (I'll protect his name)-get tested with the pokes on your back-find out your allergic to a page-long list of things from certain weeds to certain trees-the top-ranking grasses being the ones that were in our yard-take shots-feel nerdy-blow your nose a hundred times a day-allergies. We never had a real Christmas tree. My sister's are worse than mine! They were bad at Camp. They were bad in Texas. They are bad here. They are just kind of part of life. Moving across the country hasn't really made things much better. It ends up that the Ohio River Valley gives basically everyone allergies, not just the extreme sneezers like me. It's actually a topic of conversation around here, would you believe it? We talk about things like the pollen count at recess. I learned that Louisville is the 12th worst city to live in in the US for allergy-sufferers. I am now taking eye drops, nose spray, Wal-Mart-brand Zyrtec, plan on trying the whole "local honey" (people swear by it) thing, and I'm making a summer appointment with an allergist (hopefully not so weird).
The good news is they are basically seasonal. The bad news is... they are a pain. And, boy, they come right at the busiest times. And, I love going outside in the spring. I love Field Day! Why now, I'm tempted to ask, even about something as small as allergies.
But isn't that something of what is meant by these "trials of various kinds" that James mentions in James 1:2. Or, Peter, again reminding us that we rejoice, "though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your fatih-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Hmm... I need to get this through my thick skull. Josh Harris has this link on his blog called, "Trusting God With a Migraine" and I just like the title, although I've barely visited the blog. I don't face any persecution right now. I don't have a disease that is life-altering or cancer threatening to take my life. I don't even have my mom's horrific migraines. I have other various trials. Allergies. PMS. (Ha!) But they are not insignificant. And, as John Piper might say, they aren't to be wasted. I'm sitting here not able to sleep, frustrated and yet something feels WRONG about being frustrated. I long to trust God with the small stuff. Embrace my lot, if you will. Of course, I long to trust God with the big trials of life, but the little ones are OH so easy to complain about.
Scripture has answers for it all. Do everything without complaining. Trust God... with sleepless nights, migraines, allergies, PMS, finances, marriage, singleness, etc. Trust God. Show the watching world that He is trustworthy. Why was Joni's biography so encouraging to me when I read it recently? She did just that. I think... surely, I can trust God with allergies.
But it's hard, isn't it? It's hard to trust God in the little things just like it is in the big things, because it takes a supernatural work of God to change what we naturally feel and how we naturally think, act, respond...
Oh, that I could get the truths I know in my head to pierce my heart and transform my thinking. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who works in His children. He can change me and my thinking and my perspective. His Word can renew my thoughts. His Spirit can cause me to trust him with allergies.