Some times we have short, deep, crisis type illness and other times it is long drawn out, on-going chronic illness. When we are feeling really unwell it can be easy to feel without hope, let down by God and other people who have abandoned us or who are simply not showing us the care we need. Many people struggle with this, men, women, young, old, married, unmarried, those who believe in a God and those who don’t, there isn’t anything that guarantees we will be healthy and well – no medicine, no spell, no amount of wishing good things or prayer.

It would be great to chat with you about things that will help you to feel more full of hope and purpose, and to pray for you if that is something you would like.

We are all more than just a physical body, we also have feelings, emotions and a spiritual side to us. We really need to think about how to help the whole of us and not just our physical bodies. Here are some suggestions people have found helpful…

Why am I struggling with illness? 

Illness can strike us all, it’s not that we are a bad person, or God is angry with us – it’s usually a mixture of circumstances and our body, our genes. Some of us, for a whole variety of reasons, shake off and fight illnesses better than others, some struggle more and catch many things. Some times we are born with an illness or a disability that effects how we are able to live our life – again this is not God’s punishment or a sign that he doesn’t like you, it’s usually just about natural causes of a biological nature that are just part of a world that is falling apart.

What can you still do?

Often when we are not well we focus on what we can’t do any more, or how we aren’t able to be like everyone else – you can’t eat what they eat, you are unable to enjoy doing the things they do. But thinking in this direction will make us focus on the bad which brings us lower in how we feel, which in turn can make us feel more unwell and then we end up being able to do even less! Instead try and think about the things you are able to do – and take pleasure in those things instead. Small enjoyments are much more pleasurable than focusing on what we have lost out on – why rob yourself of the pleasure that is available to you by focusing on the things that make you sad?

How? Where? When?

Do you feel more unwell at certain times of day, or on particular days of the week? or is there a time of the year when you find you feel much worse? Noticing when the toughest times are can be helpful because it shows us when we need to try and put things in place that are more likely to ease our discomfort or encourage us or distract us. And it also helps us to know when we are more likely to be able to try and do new activities and when we are most likely to feel more pleasure and less pain.

Think about the spiritual you

Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?

When people believe that Jesus loves them and is interested in them it gives them a bigger picture of the world around them and of what life is all about. Church can be a great place to meet people and find caring friendships – particularly if the church meets midweek in small groups in people’s homes as it is there that you will become a person rather than one of a crowd, it is there where you will feel loved and listened to and appreciated. The more you get to know Jesus the more you will know and understand how much he cares about you and what is happening in your life – Find out about Jesus.

Find support online

One of the great things about the internet is that it can help people with similar likes and similar struggles to find each other. Search on Google or Facebook for a support group for the particular illness that is your biggest struggle. Being able to email and chat online with people who are going through similar experiences can be a great help and encouragement – and because it is online you can access it when you are feeling well enough rather than having to physically get to somewhere at a set time on a certain day of the week.

Does Jesus heal people today?

The simple answer is yes he can, but he doesn’t always. He doesn’t choose special people to heal and normal people to ignore, it’s not like that – it’s part of the mystery of God why he heals some and not others. What the Bible is clear about is that we are to let God know what we would like him to do for us, but that then we should also trust and believe that He loves us and knows best – sometimes that means he will take away the thing we are struggling with but there are also many times when he chooses not to. At those times he wants to walk through the trouble with us – helping us to grow in our relationship with him through the rough storms of life. It is so much harder to cope with being ill without a belief in Jesus than it is when we believe in Him and trust Him.