Food Poisoning, God, and the “Little Things” (Ick!)

By: Natalie Plumb

Maybe the media is just doing its job, but a massive number of things seem to be happening all at once right about now. Recently, there was a mass shooting in Santa Barbara where seven people died. A group on Harvard University’s campus declared free speech when they proposed celebrating a “black mass.”

GodisuptoSomethingI don’t know about your week, but I had food poisoning on Monday. People I’ll miss are retiring. On and on…

But just when I think that God’s hand is nowhere near holding me, you and our world, He proves me wrong with, of course, the little things.

I woke up just like on any other workday on that Monday that went so unexpectedly wrong. Food poisoning isn’t appetizing. (Ha! Terrible joke.) But I’ll tell you what else: Being bedridden for a whole day (and then some) when you are Type A could make you want to scream and file a lawsuit. Or, if you take a chill pill, surrender to His grace, and surrender to your circumstances, good can come of it.


I was surprised by what came of having food poisoning. (It sounds ridiculous to say that.)

I slowed down. I don’t need to say twice how important a bit of rest and relaxation is, especially when you’re OCD.

I was taken care of. I’m a do-it-yourself kind of gal. It’s entirely mortifying to me to be “served.” But you have to let yourself be served sometimes. You will not always be 100 percent. You will lose your faculties eventually. You need to let people love you. Receiving is a human need.

I know I’m completely guilty of thinking, “Where are you God?” when I’m at my worst, when I feel depressed or hated or worthless. But we have to remember, instead of getting mad, that He is right there. Maybe what needs some cleaning are our hearts and our ears. Not God’s sense of justice. Remember who He is?

It’s easy to say all that when you’re not in the thick of it. But on Monday I was. I felt useless, tired, irresponsible, lazy… Right before leaving work, after lasting a few miserable hours, my coworker popped in with a cheery, “At least your worth isn’t based on what you do!” And how true is that?

I remembered (again – God, how many times do you have to tell me?) that my worth is not based on what I do, but rather on who I am. I am a beloved daughter of God. You are a beloved Son or Daughter of God. You are handcrafted by God. Shaped and sewn, stitch by stitch, in your mother’s womb.

Your circumstances are there because He trusts you with them. You are given the gift – yes, gift – of your struggles because God knows that greater good can come from what you do with them. You. Not Louise, Jeff or Molly. You. No one else will do what you will do and no one else will be who you are. You, beloved Son or Daughter of Christ, you are entrusted with the prize of your life and its circumstances.

Will you embark on His adventure?

Natalie writes on Thursdays about faith, dating, relationships, and the in between. May her non-fiction stories and scenarios challenge you. May they help you laugh, cry, think and wonder.

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