How illness brought me closer to God

First let me premise this article with gratitude and thankfulness.

I am grateful that I have breath in my lungs and two legs that can walk.

I have not had terminal illness, cancer, or anything of the sort.. Instead I battle with a few autoimmune conditions, one being celiac disease. Again I can be thankful that this disease is controlled by very careful diet and not a handful of pills that give off side effects.

Even if God’s perfect will for my life were to include these uncomfortable things, I know He is still Good and He is still faithful.

I write this coming on my third week being ill from COVID and then a subsequent sinus infection. I have been out of it for a little while now, and while I feel that I am starting to mend, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you from this experience because three weeks of being sick stuck in a house (that I am super grateful for) feels like an eternity… not to sound dramatic.

COVID had me miserable for almost five days straight. Thankfully I maintained good oxygen levels and needed no medical intervention. I did go in at day 4 to the hospital to get fluids and my vitals checked and even though I felt dehydrated and impaired, the docs gave me the thumbs up and told me to just ride out the sickness at home and that everything looked alright to them.

I went home and did not realize how ungrateful my attitude has been about my health.

Other people weren’t as fortunate as me. I heard of people who were intubated, and some who stayed 10 days in the hospital over the same virus. Many never left the hospital alive. I thought about this as I was in my bed at home. The Holy Spirit was convicting me left and right. Yes, I have COVID and I can hardly get out of bed right now but I am to be thankful to be alive, and to be able to go through this in the comfort of my own home. No matter how bad things get, there is always something to be thankful for.

Even if you’re bedridden with cancer, or in a wheelchair, or anything else you can think of, there will always be something to be grateful for and that is God’s mercy and grace. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.

When I started to understand my sin of ungratefulness I realized that health has been an idol in my life. I always thought, if I was in perfect shape, or didn’t have these autoimmune conditions, then I would be truly happy.

Wrong.

I have it so much better than a lot of people. There’s a saying that has resonated with me, there will always be someone who has it better than you and there will always be someone who has it worse than you.

My point is no matter how low we feel we are, we must always remember to be grateful for the life we have been given.

If you are in a season of sickness, I want to encourage you. I also want to remind you that God hasn’t forgotten about you. We see various accounts in the Bible of people with different ailments, many of them chronic, that were used by God to glorify Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

All things. All. All of them. Even this. Even this season you’re going through. The physical suffering, the mental suffering, all of the anguish you’re feeling can be used to glorify God.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

Our life is a vapor, this will all be over really soon. And I know that this pain feels like it’s going to last forever, but we have promises in God’s Word that it won’t.

Make a playlist of your favorite worship music and pray through the pain. This is what I did.

Contrary to what many Christians will say, God did NOT promise to take away all the physical and mental pain of this life. Remember Job? Remember when God answered Paul when He was begging him to take away the anguish? My grace is sufficient.  He promised to comfort us and be there with us through it all.

Sometimes we are given trials to remind us to lean on The Father and not on our own understanding or our own efforts. When I pray to God for strength to get through the day it reminds me that every breath I take and every step I make is because He allows it. He gives me strength,  He gives me the abilities I have. Not myself. Not my own efforts, and this is the lesson I learned in the past three weeks. I don’t make it through the day because I exercised enough, or took enough vitamins. I made it through the day by God’s grace alone. May I continue to keep this as frontlets between my eyes in times of better health as God permits. 

Do not be discouraged by the health and wealth prosperity gospel. God can allow trials and tribulations to happen to us for sanctification, and for His ultimate glory all the while still loving us. Christ has purchased our glorified bodies, we have them guaranteed, but not until we leave this life. We can rest in the promise that our best life will be the next one, and not this one. God still loves you and me when we go through hard times.

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10: 28-30

-Much love from your sister in Christ,
AJ

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for these encouraging words!!

    1. Thank you for reading Penny 🙂

  2. Very well said and true every bit. Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂 It really means a lot.

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