When Healing Doesn’t Come (Living with Chronic Illness, Stress, and the Everyday Pains of Life)
Reblogged from Rest & Chaos
What do you do when there is no cure?
When the doctor says there is nothing more that we can do?
That is a question I still ask myself even after almost 7 years of struggling with a chronic illness that makes life difficult. The chronic part is what makes it hard. The fact that it never goes away. And the fact that it affects my everyday life.
- Like when my son comes home and says, “We are going on a field trip to the zoo, but I know you can’t chaperone because you can’t walk that far without getting sick.”
- Or when I pull into the handicap parking spot, feeling embarrassed while getting out of my van with kids in tow.
- Or when everyone stands up in church to sing and I sit there feeling awkward.
- Or when I must admit to someone that I need to use the elevator, rather than the stairs.
And some days the fact that God hasn’t healed me yet makes me feel depressed and angry. And then I chastise myself for that, because after all, some people have it way worse than I do. My disease may be annoying but it is not life-threatening.
But some days I let the burden of not being healed bring me down. On those days, I try to remember this verse:
The thing is, we all have things we struggle with. For some of us it is a chronic illness. For others it is a life-threatening diagnosis. For others it is being stuck in an unfulfilling job. Or dealing with mean co-workers. Or a strong-willed child. Or even feeling the weight of everyday stresses.
The tough thing you are facing in life doesn’t have to be big in order to cause you pain. It is often the little things that the devil uses to try and break us.
Think of it this way.
If you have a pile of 100 pencils it would be hard to grab them and break them in half all at once right? But if you break just one pencil at a time, then you can easily break all 100 pencils. In the same way, the devil often tries to break us down one problem at a time.
So, when we face a situation in life where healing may not come, whether that is in the form of an illness, or a tough situation with no end in sight, we have a critical choice to make:
- Are we going to trust God?
- Or are we going to sink into despair, and let it break us?
Making the Choice to Trust
In those dark moments, when despair is trying to get a grip on us, we need to remind ourselves that God is our strength when we are weak. We need to cry out to him and lean on him through it all. We need to remind ourselves of His promises and His great love for us.
And we can take comfort in the fact that God knows what we are going through. He is right there with us in every moment of our day. He is always there to comfort, encourage, and strengthen us when we chose to trust in Him.
Today if you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances try these things.
- Read your bible.
- Write down some favorite scripture verses to remind yourself of God’s love and promises.
- Light a candle and pray.
- Listen to some good worship music.
- Reach out to a friend.
- Do something kind for someone else.
- Take it easy.
- And don’t beat yourself up for feeling down.
We all stumble and fall. We all get overwhelmed. We all struggle to bear up under our burdens sometimes. But we can chose to say, like the psalmist:
It can be hard when we are faced with the reality that healing might not come. That our circumstances might not go away. But if you think about it, every person that Jesus healed in this life got sick again and eventually died. The healing he gave them was temporary. If God chooses to heal us in this life it will only be temporary. Our true and final healing will be on the day we enter Heaven.
That is our reality, my dear friends. If God does not provide healing in this life, then he will in the next. Because He never steps off His throne. He simply draws us closer to it. And once he draws us to His throne we will experience true and complete healing.
God reminded me of this truth recently.
A few weeks ago, I was at church. While I am never able to stand for worship at church, on the really bad days I can’t even sing without feeling dizzy. My symptoms were really flaring up that day, so I did what I always do on those bad days:
I close my eyes and let my heart do the singing.
And on this day God gave me a vision. I could see myself with my new body in Heaven. He was on His throne and I was singing my heart out while dancing before Him in worship.
That vision brought tears to my eyes.
Because someday that vision will be a REALITY.