On the Side: February 2022

Living By Faith
Sharon Chatwell

As I write this, I am on Day 8 of a self-imposed quarantine for COVID-19. Dr. H and I managed to come down with it at almost the same time; so have several of our family members. No one seems to know just who gave it to whom, but at this point it doesn’t much matter. All of our happily vaccinated and boostered selves are doing better now, by God’s grace, and we are very thankful about it.

By the time you read this, I will probably be up and about and out on the town again; unfettered by quarantines and wandering the aisles at the grocery store.

Our entire town seems to have been down for a couple of weeks. Two days ago, I realized that you could easily shoot a cannon down one of our major streets without inflicting much damage.

If it is true that this Omicron variant is gentler and less lethal than its older brother, Delta, then I’m pleased to have it as the flavor of the month. Instead getting hit by a Mack truck, it’s more like getting sideswiped by a minivan.

This stuff is weird.  It’s like having the flu, but not. It’s different from anything else you’ve ever had.  You think that you’re just going to lay down for a nap and you wake up the next morning. You think you should make supper, except you realize that you are not hungry and, even if you were hungry, you don’t have the energy to get up off the couch and walk to the kitchen. This goes on for days.

My main concern here was keeping people hydrated and plied with crackers and toast.  They would just lay there and look at me, while I moved one warm, watered-down glass of iced tea away and brought in another colder one. Finally, they started eating again. Personally, I was glad to see it.

With three of us in the house, we’ve spent the past 2 weeks with the person feeling the least ill taking care of the other two. Finally, Dr. H is up and about! He has made himself a list of things to do while he’s at home during his mandatory quarantine. Today he redid his sock drawer. And, I have noticed that he is methodically shining all of his shoes; at the rate of one pair a day.

What do we do, as people, as Christians, as medical families, when craziness happens? When we get sick, when we lose loved ones, or when we are stuck at home on 10 days of quarantine? Do we redo our sock drawers? Do we take care of the people we love? Do we blame God for our misfortunes? Do we rant and rave on social media about the unfairness of it all? Do we blame others for all of it?

I think we probably do most of those things, at least at some point. But how do we keep our focus on what is important? How do we remember that we have choices about how we will behave? How do we figure out what it is that God wants us to be doing?

We remember Jesus. We remember Jesus’ love and His sacrifice for us. What He did for each of us as Believers. It is how we get through the mundane issues of our everyday lives as well as the immensely disruptive disasters that occur.

“The righteous will live by faith,” said the Apostle Paul. (Romans 1:17 NIV) I realize now that I have misunderstood this verse for years. Only recently has God made it clearer to me. I thought it meant that if I could somehow do enough and become a better person (become more righteous, as it were) then I would be able to have enough faith to face the difficult things in life.

Actually, that isn’t the meaning at all. The reality is that we don’t make ourselves righteous. And nothing we can do – not even taking care of loved ones during a quarantine – can make us righteous. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that “all of our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” (NASB)

It is Jesus who makes us righteous through His sacrifice for us as Believers. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB) So, as Believers in Christ, we are declared righteous by God. This allows us to go on with our lives and to live by faith.

Even when we don’t feel worthy, which for me is most of the time, we can take up faith every day and move forward with life. We don’t have to wait to feel more worthy or to somehow become more righteous. We can just remember that in Christ we are the righteousness of God and move forward in faith, trusting in all of God’s promises to us as we go.

In this way we can face life and whatever it has to throw at us. And believe me, what it can throw at us can be pretty ugly.

As wives of doctors, we watch our husbands go off every day to do battle (literally) with viruses, bacteria, cancer, broken bones and broken hearts. And every day we take them back in at the end of their shift, prop them up a little, help them as best we can, and tell them that we love them a lot.

All of this is easier if we can face our days with faith. The faith by which we live. As people declared righteous by God, through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can pick up faith every day and go on living, no matter what comes.

Here’s to living by faith!

Sharon is a doctor’s wife living in beautiful Lincoln, NE. She invites you to visit, as soon as everyone is feeling better. And she reminds you that you too can live by faith every day. 

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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