Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In sickness and in health

This week has been a sickie week here.  I hung out in bed all day Sunday and a good chunk of yesterday.  PJ was home yesterday too.  I can't tell if it's an achy head cold or a nasty bout of allergies, but we are definately dragging.  We even stayed home last night--and I hate missing CR and PJ hated missing Boy Scouts.  We're still pretty sluggish and I don't know what the day brings.  I have some quiet work to do today but we may not do much more. 

In a marriage, we vow to care for each other in sickness and in health (kudos to John on that one).  We've both been struggling with low grade, chronic illnesses for years.  Of course, Katie also has Down syndrome and PJ has major developmental gaps (and that's just what we know about). 

Our relationship with Jesus is also not conditioned on our health.  In all of our struggles, our heavenly Father has been faithful and gracious.  He has frequently shown us where healing can be found, but even more, He is faithful even when we are sick.  Although we've had setbacks, we also choose continually to be faithful, even when we can't be well.  We also choose to be faithful when we are well--and rejoice in the strength to care for others.

We live in a fallen world.  Sickness happens.  We also "wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers."  We are in a war and although the field of battle may be our bodies, the most critical enemy is spiritual, not physical.  With Job, we can say, "Though He slay me, still I'll trust in Him." 

The other day on the way to PJ's school, the Lord reminded me that the coldest, cruelest people I've ever known were those who have never been touched by illness, fear, lack or discomfort.  At that moment, I rejoiced with the Lord over the infirmities that PJ has had and has seen in all of us.  An understanding of weakness breeds compassion and dependence on God--something that PJ shows frequently.  Had all gone perfectly, PJ might not know what it is like to struggle to learn or sit still and could have mocked those who are not so fortunate with no regard for their Maker. 

I would take those struggles away from all of us in a heartbeat if I could.  My Lord is wiser. I cannot imagine the pain He endures as He watches us suffer, but for the joy set before Him, He again endures it for our good.  I have asked for healing.  He has provided wise and compassionate souls rather than sound and secure bodies, though when His work is complete, He heals our bodies so that we may serve Him.  Again, I stand in awe of the severe mercies of my dear Friend. 

Thank You, Father, Friend and Love...

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