Some times we have a short, deep, crisis type of 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 by other people who seem to have abandoned us or who are 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 is no guarantee that 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.
You are more than just a physical body, you also have feelings, emotions and a spiritual side to you. You really need to think about how to help the whole of you and not just your physical body.
Illness can strike us all, it doesn’t happen to you because you are a particularly bad person, or because God is angry with you!
Illness is usually a mixture of circumstances and our body, our genes. Some of us shake off and fight illnesses better than others, some struggle more and catch many things. Some times we might be 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 natural causes of a biological nature that are simply part of a world that is falling apart.
Often when we are not well we focus on what we can’t do 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 like this will make you focus on the bad and bring you lower in how we feel. This in turn can make you feel more unwell and then you may well 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 you have lost out on – why rob yourself of the pleasure that is available to you by focusing on the things that make you sad?
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. Knowing this can also help you to know when you are more likely to be able to try and do new activities and when you are most likely to feel more pleasure and less pain.
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 you believe that Jesus loves you and is deeply interested in you it gives you a different picture of the world around you and of what your life is all about. It gives you a new hope and a new focus outside of yourself.
The more you get to know the real Jesus of the Bible, the more you will want to live to make Him happy and this will also then become a great motivation to keep on going no matter how low and bad you feel. Jesus cares about you – he wants you to know his peace and his acceptance and forgiveness. He wants you to know Him and how much he loves you.
One of the great things about the internet is that it can help people struggling with similar things to help 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.
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.