Nine lessons from God Concerning Sickness.

 

This morning as I woke I noticed the pain I sleep with every night was a little worse.  As I stood in front of the medicine cabinet downing my growing list of prescriptions I realized how little I think about dealing with a Chronic Illness from a spiritual perspective. I try to function as best as I can and get on with my day. I know people who suffer so much every day with so many more problems and pain than I do, so it’s not something I really think about very often unless it’s to be thankful to God that things are not worse.

Lately it’s been a huge battle for me, mentally and physically and the hardest part is having no one to talk to about it, or no one that understands. I have heard this same thing from so many folks in similar situations and it’s tough. “You don’t look sick” does not really make things feel better, even though the person saying that may not necessarily mean to be rude or insensitive, it’s not particularly helpful. I am learning that as a Christian I am so blessed to have a Lord and Savior who has been through every hurt, every overlooked emotion, every struggle and He cares for me.   I am blessed beyond measure to know that He listens to me,  and understands completely. In all my searching I could never find a friend that valuable. Our sermon at Church last night was such a blessing and it discussed these very topics, I hope to post it sometime this week but in the meantime J.C. Ryle shared his thoughts on the subject. They helped me so much this morning and I hope someone else is as blessed by his words as I am today.

Sickness is meant…

1. To make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. To teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. To make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ’s blood? Am I prepared to meet God?

4. To make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.

5. To send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.

6. To make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.

7. To make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us “hear the rod.”

8. To draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men’s eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, “Simply to Your cross I cling,” as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many—they have found Christ in the sick room.

9. To make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master’s example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Summary: Beware of fretting, murmuring, complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise—a good and not an evil—a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: Christ in the Sick Room

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Nine lessons from God Concerning Sickness.

  1. Thank you, sister. This post is so on time! Blessings!

  2. This is fantastic, both your thoughts and Bishop Ryles. I’m reading Horatius Bonar’s book A Night of Weeping (http://allthyngs.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/currently-reading-night-of-weeping-by-horatius-bonar/) and it’s a book dealing with this exact same issue. Sickness, suffering, trial and hardship as a gift from the Lord. Bonar challenges his readers to not only praise God in our suffering, but to get to the point where we praise God for our suffering.
    Thanks for this post!

    • Teresa

      Thank you so much for the kind comments, I will definitely look into the Bonar book. I am slowly learning to indeed praise God for suffering, it’s been a long process but these books really help..thanks again so much!

  3. “I am learning that as a Christian I am so blessed to have a Lord and Savior who has been through every hurt, every overlooked emotion, every struggle and He cares for me. I am blessed beyond measure to know that He listens to me, and understands completely.”

    Amen, Teresa. Continuing to lift you up to Him, may His grace be sufficient for you. Love and hugs.

  4. Teresa

    Thank you ladies! Our Lord has been so good to me, and I am so blessed to see how truly rich I am, even in suffering. Love and blessings to you both!

  5. Diane

    Some beautiful encouragement for you and us all from Spurgeon…

    MORNING:

    “The Lord our God hath shewed us his glory.”
    – Deuteronomy 5:24

    God’s great design in all his works is the manifestation of his own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why he bringeth his people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when he comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who “do business in great waters,” these see his “wonders in the deep.” Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God’s greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as he did his servant Moses, that you might behold his glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of his glory in his wonderful dealings with you.

    EVENING:

    “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.”
    – Matthew 12:20

    What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax? A reed that groweth in the fen or marsh, let but the wild duck light upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits across the river moves it to and fro. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a bruised reed. Then look at the smoking flax-what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered; an infant’s breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame. Weak things are here described, yet Jesus says of them, “The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break.” Some of God’s children are made strong to do mighty works for him; God has his Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza’s gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; he has a few mighties who are lion-like men, but the majority of his people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows-weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness. How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus-so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from his touch. We need never fear a harsh word from him; though he might well chide us for our weakness, he rebuketh not. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from him, and the smoking flax no damping frowns

  6. Hello Teresa,

    This post truly struck a chord on my heart strings. I too suffer from a chronically painful and debilitating syndrome. Had it not been for my intimate relationship with the Lord, I just don’t know what I would do, or how I would handle all that I am going through. God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble! You are not alone. I believe I understand what you are going through, to an extent. However, most importantly, God knows what you are going through, and He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Just a reminder: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; with His stripes we are healed.” As I read your post, I thought of something I posted a few days ago.

    http://pbus1.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/living-with-chronically-painful-disorders/

    God bless you.

    Paulette

  7. Praying that each day will be better than the day before.

    Grace upon grace,

  8. In these situations of sickness, loss, heartbreak and sadness there really are no words that mere human’s can say to make it better. While many deal with these same things nobody really knows how the individual feels because each person is different. We really do have to rely solely on the blessed Lord because he alone can comfort us in every situation we face whether it be sickness, loss, heartbreak or sadness. While friends and family can lend an ear and pray it’s only the Lord’s comfort and care that sustain us through these most difficult times.

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