Hello Church Family,
I hate being sick. I know you are probably shocked to hear that because so many of you enjoy being sick.
Of course you don’t.
Why don’t we like being sick? Well, for one thing, we prefer not to feel crummy. We don’t want our bodies to be at war with us. Furthermore, we have plans and routines that we believe should never be compromised or changed. And beyond this, we generally cringe at the level of dependency to which sickness drives us.
Ask my wife. When I get sick (particularly with a stomach bug), she essentially does everything for me. I toss and turn on the bed. I quote Jesus on the cross, “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit” (and yes, I do it in the King James and no, I don’t know why). I make groaning noises and wonder why my immune system isn’t stronger.
Even though this is certainly the worst part of being sick, in my mind, it is also the best part. How can I say that? I have already said I hate being sick and you should rightly assume I do not enjoy pain or inconveniencing my wife. So, how can this be the best part of being sick?
Sickness reminds us of our dependence, frailty, and (in many ways) our insignificance.
To be sure, I am always dependent on my wife. If she did not take care of our babies, I would not be enabled to do what God has called me to do in the way that I am. Beyond this, I am always dependent on God. There is no fraction of a millisecond in which I could exist without Him.
To be sure, in this body I am capable of death at any moment. A car could swerve and hit me. My heart could stop beating. I could choke on a tortilla chip dipped in delicious queso. I am always frail and my life is always fleeting.
To be sure, I am always insignificant to a certain degree. I am not trying to be a “Debbie Downer” here. I simply mean that in the grand scheme of things, I do not make the world go round. In other news, apparently there were no explosions or fires during my absence.
Some of you are probably thinking, “Wow, pastor. I would have just as soon as not had a newsletter as opposed to having this little gem of encouragement…” Well, give me another paragraph or two.
If we are in Christ, we are new creations, we have been given new hearts, our minds are being renewed, and the Holy Spirit of God is within us. However, we are still daily doing battle against our flesh—the “old man” as it were. Although the realities ought to be plain before us, we are prone to forget and believe the lies of pride. We would never say these things out loud, but often we live as though we are completely independent, indestructibly strong, and vitally important to all of history.
In a nutshell, sickness provides an excellent opportunity for us to remember our constant need to walk in humility. There is coming a day when God’s children will know sickness, pain, and tragedy no more. But until that day, our sovereign Lord will continue to redeem all of these for His glory and our good. Keep this in mind: it is better to learn humility from sickness than to assume pride from healthiness.