Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: Gaining All
By Dannie Hawley
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A moment later, the wave of nausea meant the end to my respite from the hectic clinic day. Standing, I rushed inside the house, grabbing the plastic basin just in time. The lack of indoor plumbing meant a thirty-yard trek to the outhouse, so I elected to lie down a bit before dealing with the basin.
The relentless throbbing ache in my eyes eased slightly as I stretched out on my bed. While mentally reviewing my symptoms, a flash of heat engulfed my body like a match tossed on gasoline. Now, my entire body ached; I began to moan.
“Hey, what’s happening to you?” my colleague said, rushing into my room. Anne flipped back the mosquito net and reached for my wrist. “You’re burning up. When did this start?”
“Just now,” I said in a whisper, pulling the basin close to me for the second round.
Hours later, the heat-shield cracked, and sweat soaked my clothing. The bitter cold penetrated deep inside my body; my skin felt like a sheet of ice. For the next half-hour, I endured violent trembling.
As abruptly as it’d begun, it stopped, rendering me too exhausted to leave my bed. “I’ve no idea what that was,” I told Anne. “I just hope I’ve seen the last of it.”
The following day I felt fine. The same could be said of the day after, until late-afternoon. As suddenly as before, I experienced a repeat of the above scenario. When I woke in the middle of the night, still exhausted, I pleaded with God.
“Father, what’s happening to me? I can’t figure it out.”
Have you surrendered all to Me? The question came as a still, small voice deep within.
“Yes, more than once. I surrendered to Your Lordship in 1969. Then, I surrendered to Your call on my life, leaving for the foreign field in 1984.”
Is that all? Father inquired without a hint of condemnation.
I considered His question, feeling weak from the evening’s ordeal. Sighing, I said, “What more is there? Seems like all to me?”
All is all, said the gentle voice.
Father dropped a familiar quotation of mine into my thoughts, and I began to laugh quietly. “Oh, you mean that all.”
For many years, whenever I came down with any illness, I said that I’d surrendered every cell of my body to God, so He would see that I recovered to live out the number of days He’d given me on this earth. God’s reminder let me know that He’d heard me.
Though tired, I felt fine in the morning, working a full day in the clinic. None of our patients exhibited the same symptoms.
Settling into my prayer chair, I hoisted the heavy textbook onto my lap. If this classic dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of tropical diseases couldn’t answer my nagging question, none would be found. But, where to look?
Distractedly, I reached to pluck off a bug I felt crawling across the exposed skin in the V of my neckline. Looking at it between my thumb and index finger, I said, “Hmm? What kind of insect are you? You feel like a tick, but your shell isn’t hard.” Wondering if I might have some kind of tick-borne fever, I flipped the pages open to check it out.
The text described every detail of my illness. Clearly, I had Relapsing Fever. Just weeks earlier, we’d fumigated the house as part of the preparation for the four American pastors coming for a visit, inadvertently drawing out the unique, soft-shelled ticks from the cracks in the mud bricks.
The disease tormented me for nearly two months. The textbook said the course normally included from three to eleven episodes of relapse, with six being the average. If no relapse occurred in twenty-one days, it was over.
Following episode five, I’d been symptom-free for twenty days. When the pain and fever returned the next afternoon, my despair proved more agonizing than the disease.
The Relapsing Fever ended with six episodes. How I delighted in falling under the Average category.
I discovered that in surrendering all to God, I’d not lost anything. Instead, I gained an omniscient protector Who provided everything I needed, even using a soft-shelled tick to direct my search. Hallelujah!
This is a true story.
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