“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh for us, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God. Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.” (1 Pet 4: 1-3)

There’s this hidden blessing of falling ill “in the flesh”; that I am slowed down against my will, and compelled at least to press “pause” on my usual sinful patterns or “passions.” I don’t, however, necessarily “arm myself with the same thought” as the one Christ had, when He suffered “for us.” His suffering was purposeful Self-offering, “for” others. In my physical ailments I might choose merely to complain and wallow in purposelessness, asking “Why me?”

But my body, whether ill or well, does always have a purpose, to be “for” God and others. So let me re-direct my focus on Him today, as best I can, particularly if I’ve been stopped, by physical illness, from “doing” what I usually “do.” Let me rather “be” in God, embracing the time of illness for exercising gratitude, compassion, and prayer for other people. “Thy will be done” with us this flu-season, Lord, by Your mercy and grace.