I am currently recovering from a horrible sore throat and head cold. In between coughing fits, blowing my nose, and trying to have enough energy to work, I realized that sickness is included in the “all things” of Romans 8:28.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Below are four ways God utilizes sickness as He molds us to look more like Jesus:
- Sickness reminds us that we are not gods.
It is in our nature to try to defy the limitations God has placed upon us. This first happened in the Garden of Eden – Adam and Eve were tempted to be “like God” (Gen. 3:5). They were not content submitting to His authority but instead bucked against his clear Word in order to overcome the “limitations” placed upon them by God.
If you are like me, I tend to work far more than I should. I also try to please WAY too many people in an effort to feel successful. In the midst of all of this, I take upon myself project after project. Caffeine, my drug of choice, promises me that I can be like God and work without feeling tired or sleepy.
Sickness FORCES us to slow down, rest, and understand that the world continues without us. You and I are not God. We have limitations. True freedom is found in embracing our limitations and weaknesses and resting solely on the grace and power of God.
- Sickness reminds us that we are sinners in need of grace.
Our bodies fail and become weak because of sin. Before the darkness of sin choked life out of the world, there was no death nor sickness. As a result of sin, all of creation (including you and me) groans out of pain and misery. Paul refers to our bodies as temporary dwellings – they are not made to last forever (2 Cor. 5:1). Beginning at age 25, your body literally begins to die.
Sickness reminds us that death is the end of all mankind. Rich and poor, good and evil, famous and overlooked – ALL of us will die and face judgment as a result of our sin. Sickness is a constant reminder that we live in a broken world and we need to fix our eyes on the only One who has defeated death, sickness, and shame.
We become sick because we are rebels in need of discipline, narcissists in need of humility, and sinners in DESPERATE need of grace.
- Sickness reminds us that we are dependent upon God for EVERYTHING.
I don’t know about you but I tend to take my good health for granted. I am hardly ever sick and when I do get sick, a minor cold feels as if I have been infected with a deadly virus that forces me to languish in bed for hours (Or I am just a wimp, I’ll let you decide).
Over the past few days, I have seen myself cry out to God for strength and wisdom FAR MORE than when I am healthy. This week has been one of my busiest weeks over the past few months and I trust that I became sick for a reason. If a sparrow does not fall to the ground outside of the Father’s will then we do not get sick outside of His will.
I am sure we all acknowledge intellectually that we are dependent upon God for every ounce of strength and fruitfulness but do we TRULY believe it in our hearts? Practically, I give lip service to my dependence upon God but live as if EVERYTHING is up to me.
In our sinfulness, we have a tendency to think we can do a better job at being God than He can. Needless to say, that is a VERY foolish place to be.
- Sickness reminds us of the Second Coming.
Sickness and death will NOT get the last word. In this life, we only get a small taste of what God is preparing for those whom He loves. Jesus crushed the ugly head of sin, death, and sickness when He rose victoriously from the grave. As we experience the weakness and apparent hopelessness of life, we can find rest in God’s promise of a New Creation as revealed to John in Revelation 22:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” – Revelation 22:1-3
Jesus wins. Sin is defeated. Satan is crushed. Sickness is demolished.
Put your hope in God and rest in HIS promises.
How has God used sickness in YOUR life to grow you closer to Him? Leave a comment let me know!