Have you ever thought, why am I so sick?
You know the type of sickness that just seems unrelenting?
I have been struggling with some illness for a while now, especially since getting married my health has been in a declined state. This is not usual for me and I admit, it has been a struggle and a challenge, requiring me to rely upon my new husband a lot more than I would personally prefer.
Add to this the need to work and the fact I have begun a new chaplaincy role this week, while still struggling with my health, and I began to wonder, "Why am I so sick?"
On top of this I have friends who are struggling with things like cancer, mental illness and so on...After time with The Lord today this post comes from where I am at with my own sickness after He ministered to me through His Word...
There can come a time in our lives when we are not well for such an amount of time, others may become really concerned and we think, “WHY is this happening, and WHY am I not healed already?”
Illness is such a difficult thing in anyone’s life. It literally has the power to stop someone from doing all the things that bring them pleasure, and for the Christian this even includes worship.
Illness has the ability to strip someone of not only their health and vitality, but of work, an income, and even sadly relationships which includes the one with God.
Sometimes from exhaustion and poor mental processing, a desperate and exasperated person may turn their back on God.
Frustrations as to why a sovereign God would not heal them, when they have been trying their best to live a faithful life can amount to anger and disillusionment.
There are even some Christians who believe that if a person is not healed and are continually suffering with sickness that they MUST have done something wrong and therefore be out of God’s favour…Yet this is NOT a rounded biblical view on sickness and what it can produce.
When we suffer we have the options of two positions to take.
The Pharisee or The Disciple.
Now these obvious polers seem easily distinguishable, and the choice of Disciple we know is the one we should choose…But in the face of sickness, it can be really tough to see the Pharisee position within.
Simply put, the Pharisee position is one of an elevated self-view and of blame.
The Pharisee position is one that cannot self-reflect with The Lord in prayer and through scripture reading for enlightenment as to why they are still suffering. Rather this person blames others for the illness, and ultimately may even blame God. The Pharisee position hinders the person from being able to see the work God is wanting to do through this situation in their life, rather than simple acceptance. The person may look for an answer, like giving more money to the church, or praying more and so on. And while these things in themselves are acceptable to do, they are not the solution and elevate self above God.
When one is sick, often the question should not be, “What can I do more of?” rather a humble Disciple type prayer of “What is really going on here? Lord reveal this to me.”
When we don’t accept that God is good all the time and totally in control all the time, irrespective of any life circumstances we are in, we look to blame. We may blame ourselves thinking God is angry with us. We may blame others such as doctors, our family, or other Christians. We may say to a friend when they are sick, “You must have a sin you haven’t repented of!” The Pharisee position blames as it elevates health and prosperity above suffering and persecution, and this is not a sound biblical position.
When we are slowed down to the point of only being able to pray when we’re not sleeping, God does not love us any less. If all we can do is pray when we’re awake, or listen to sermons with our eyes closed, Glory still be to God who has rescued us and sealed us as His own!
If in our time of need most people desert us, we know that we still have The Lord, who will give us what we deserve in the right time. We may be healed, or we may go to be in glory with Him…either way we win, because He is good and sovereign and this is the truth of the Gospel.
Remember, Job was a great man of God, along with many other true prophets who all suffered from spiritual attack for their righteous living. Don’t be surprised if you become ill at a time in your Christian life when you feel everything else is going so well, yes, even faithfully testifying to the truth of Jesus Christ. Not to forget Saint Paul, who was a mighty apostle yet received a ‘thorn in the flesh’ from the enemy, but God did not take it away, even after Paul asked in prayer three times.
God has a good plan and purpose for all His children, but we need to know from scripture that He never promised it would be only pleasurable and easy. Let us not elevate health and prosperity above suffering and persecution, and vice-versa; for the Christian experiences both. And even though there is an enemy who will try to tear them down in their Kingdom work for The Lord, they can rest in times of illness through acceptance and peace that God is still at work and WILL bring something good from this difficult time if they remain faithful to Him!
P.S. I truly hope this post encourages you if you are struggling with an illness. My husband Richard and I, have been writing together still over at the new study-type blog Zeal for Your house, our previous blog post series was on Spiritual Food and the current one is on Spiritual Fruit. The next series will include this post here you have just read on illness, as a wider study series on 'Prosperity - Health, wealth and happiness' in the context of scripture.
So, if you haven't yet checked out Zeal for Your house, just follow the links above. Remember, you can easily follow Zeal for Your house by submitting you email address in the top right corner of the blog, and just like Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman, if you do you won't receive any spam because we don't do this for revenue!
Casting Crowns: Praise You in this storm.