I don’t have time to be sick! Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins said it for all of us. She was already battling bronchitis when her apartment complex caught fire. ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ is her profound and hilarious response to getting smoke inhalation when her lungs were already on fire with bronchitis.

I don’t have time to be sick

When you say ‘I don’t have time to be sick’, you will often push off rest and taking care of yourself, because you think, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” either.

If you don’t have time to be sick, you can’t afford not to be well.

But if you don’t take the time to care for yourself, you won’t get well. You’ll just get sicker.

Time does not heal all wounds.

We tend to look at time as a healer. ‘Time heals all wounds.’ Really? If a soldier on the battlefield loses a leg, will time heal her wound without medical care? No. It’s the care that heals the wound, not the time. Without care, time will work against her. She’ll lose her life from bleeding out without appropriate medical care.

Time isn’t a healer. It’s a ‘container’.

Time can work for you. Time can work against you. Time doesn’t care for you. It merely provides the ‘box’ in which the care happens.

As a container, time can also ‘contain’ not-so-nice things. Rot and gangrene. Infection.

This principal holds true whether it’s bronchitis, a severed leg, or a gaping emotional wound such as the loss of a child or the failure of a marriage.

A family doctor will afford you 15 minutes to present your problem for his diagnosis. A mental health therapist works within a 55 minute session. Hospitals charge by the night. A two night stay will run you a pretty penny. But a two month stay might break you financially.

I don't have time to be sick

Time is a medical currency.

Our medical system operates within the box of time. Urgent care. There’s a reason people seek medical attention urgently. Because without treatment, a health concern can go from urgency to emergency.

No one likes to pay emergency room prices. It’s more expensive because more is riding on it.

What is riding on your health issues?

Perhaps you’re at the point where you have little energy, where you’re depressed or anxious. Perhaps you’re experiencing serious symptoms in the areas of sleep deprivation, digestive problems, or emotional instability. Perhaps you can’t seem to hold onto a romantic relationship to save your life. Maybe you experience rages or are coming to terms with an addiction.

Once you’ve determined that you need healing, it’s tempting to look at the time ‘container’ needed to facilitate your healing and think ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’

Pay now or pay more later.

The cure for the ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ attitude is the proverbial emergency room bill. Because when a health issue escalates, it inevitably costs more to fix. That’s when what could have been a two hour visit to the primary care doctor turns into a two day stay at the hospital, or worse yet, two months.

It can be helpful to think of your spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and relational health as pay now (regular doctor visits @ $120 each) or pay later (emergency room and several months’ stay at the hospital $750,000).

Whether you’re at the point where you need the proverbial family physician visit, the urgent care, or the emergency room visit, the point is, let’s take care of it now. Because, trust me. It can always get worse. And trust me on this: It can always get better. Use the container of time to get better instead of worse.

Time does not heal all wounds. It is merely the box in which the work takes place. The work of the healer. Change your mindset from ‘I don’t have time to be sick’ to ‘I don’t have time to not take care of myself.’

This means we need to start seeing the Healer. Regularly, in a ‘container’ of time each day. With the intention of doing more than just having ‘daily devotions’ or checking off our prayer list. We need to see the Healer with the purpose of laying hold of the health He intends for us.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)