I was really sick two nights ago. Like, throwing up every half hour all night long sick. It really hurts when you’ve already lost all of what’s in your stomach but your body still insists on emptying itself for about 6 more hours. I wouldn’t say it was the sickest I’ve ever been in my whole life, but I think it made the Top 5 list, and could have easily claimed the top spot if it hadn’t been so brief (praise God for that).
I had one violent night of pain, and then one day of exhaustion, dizziness, and dehydration as my body tried putting the pieces back together. Today is day two, and I would say that I’m at about 80%- I don’t have much of an appetite, but I can eat, and I don’t have a ton of energy, but I can do more than lay in bed.
But today I am in a bit of amazement at how much better I feel after being so depleted yesterday, and so ill the night before that.
Are our bodies not totally amazing?
We break bones…they put themselves back together. We contract a virus, our immune system fights it off (like, seriously, how does it know to do that?). We burn ourselves and our skin says, “No big deal, just give me a week and you’ll be good as new.” My poor digestive system was totally ravaged, but as soon as things calmed down, this tabernacle of clay just patched itself up so that it could go about its merry way.
Now, I know that my illnesses and injuries have been minor, especially compared to the huge physical hurdles dealt to others. We obviously all have scars from incidents that we weren’t able to perfectly recuperate from, and the perils of mortality will eventually overtake us all. But even on one’s death-bed, I will marvel at the fortitude and resilience of their body. Can one not stand in awe at the last pulse of a heart that’s been beating every second for better part of the last century? And even when seeing a child born still, are their tiny little features not magnificent?
Jesus Christ was flogged, had nails driven to his hands, wrists, and ankles, was stabbed in the side, and was crucified. He died. The physical, emotional, and mental suffering he endured by perfectly executing the atonement was the most violent, abusive, and torturous experience of all eternity. It left him like this:
I see the healings that happen in our own bodies as a kind of type of what happened to Christ. His body underwent a healing even more infinite than his ailment. I join in the nearly mocking tone of 1 Corinthians 15:55 when I ask “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?” As we have recently been taught by President Uchtdorf in his April 2014 talk, “Grateful in Any Circumstances”:
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
How embarrassed, how worthless, how meaningless must both death and the grave felt when this happened:
The man who had endured all the anguish and pain mortality had ever and will ever conjure up stands whole, perfect, and alive. Now let’s zoom out and look at the bigger picture:
Christ rose not just for himself, but for the thief on his right and the thief on his left. They hung, suffered, and died there together, but because of him, and only him, they will also resurrect, rise, and live together.
Our bodies are miraculous in the way they can heal themselves, but they are only that way because their creator is miraculous. The wonderful but minor repairs it does on itself will one day pale in comparison to the glory that shall be revealed in us.
Because of him, every hurt will go away, every cost will be worth it, and every longing of our hearts shall be filled.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
As we walk (and sometimes just stumble) through mortality we will encounter pains that will be healed. We will also encounter pains that will not be. But, brothers and sisters, through Jesus Christ, all will be made well.
Not just well, but glorious.
I will praise his name forever, and for starters, I am praising it now.