I recently got very ill. I didn’t get diagnosed with a disease or even spend time in a hospital. But I have never been sicker in my life. I contracted a virus. The medical term is gastroenteritis. The southern term is “sick as a dawg.” 

It started on a Sunday night. I probably got it by shaking hands with tons of people after church. And then not properly washing my hands. Who knows how it happened but what I know is that it was awful.

I woke up about midnight and had to vomit. I probably haven’t vomited in fifteen years. Then two hours later it happened again. This was followed by non-stop diarrhea. I think you get the picture. To make matters worse my wife was out of town. And then Monday when she was to return home her flight was cancelled.

So, there I was sick and alone. It was bad. I hardly ever get sick and my schedule is not made for sick days. I asked the doctor about what could be done. He told me nothing, it just had to run its course. But what was most important was what else he said, “Your body wants this gone, it won’t stop until this bug is out of your system.”

The vomiting and diarrhea continued until the virus was completely out of my body. And it took more than three days. Three miserable days. And when it was over it made me realize how great it is to have health. It made me thankful for how healthy I am and how rarely I ever get sick.

But it also made me think about something else. Sometimes there is stuff that needs to get out of us. Not physical stuff but emotional stuff. The stuff that makes us sick, not physically but in other ways.


Stuff like bitterness. It can get in your heart and poison you. You can be filled with such anger about the injustice. The unfairness can cause you to be miserable about your life and envious of others. You’ve got to get rid of it or you can’t be well.

It could be regret. The mistakes you’ve made eat away at your soul. You mourn what could have been and you can’t let it go. You wish things could be different but they’re not. If you don’t let it go your mental health will suffer. 

Get rid of it. You can’t be healthy until it’s gone.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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