And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them. (Luke 4:39 NASB)
My maxim for patients with fever is to remain off work or out of school until they have been free of fever for at least twenty-fours. It allows a little time to be sure the patient is no longer contagious and allows the patient a little recovery time after the illness abates. It's standard medical care. Peter's mother-in-law, however, did not receive standard medical care, she received Divine medical care. She did not waste a minute, let alone 24 hours, after her fever subsided. She did not loll about in bed while people celebrated her improvement and she didn't run about proclaiming that Jesus had healed her. She hopped out of bed and went to work, ministering to the needs of her guests. She demonstrated what God had done for her by her enthusiastic service. She was the epitome of "saved to serve". Hers is an example we would do well to emulate.
Jesus and Peter were, of course, perfectly capable of finding food for themselves, but they were guests in her home. I can't imagine much worse than having Jesus in my house for lunch while I was stuck in the bed, unable to feed Him all my carefully prepared dishes. It would have been a tragic missed opportunity to become better acquainted with the visiting Savior.
It's not always physical illness that causes us to miss opportunities to become better acquainted with Jesus and develop a deeper relationship with Him, is it? Most of the time, we are ABLE to come to our Lord, but we choose not to do so. Yuck. That sounds awful, doesn't it? I'd like to think that it's those times of busyness when I'm likely to stray away, but that's not true. Generally speaking (at least for this sinner) a wrong attitude leads to wrong words or, even worse, wrong words and wrong actions, and I immediately feel terrible. I'm pretty quick to ask for forgiveness but I'm not always quick to change my attitude, which is where true repentance begins.
Somehow, in that jumble of sin, I don't really want to approach the throne of mercy and grace, when that is the main thing I need. The problem with that very stupid hesitation is that it can easily become the starting point for more wrong. Here's my suggestion (really, it's God's): when we draw near to God and ask Him to forgive and cleanse, He is quick to do so. He is also extremely nice about it! There's no need for missed opportunities at all!
Today, look at your own life. Are you missing opportunities to know Jesus better? If so, take action. You will be so glad you did.
Pray today that the choices our loved ones make will not push them further from Christ, but that they will draw near to Him. Pray for an end to missed opportunities and a return to full relationship and joyful service.