With Valentine’s Day nearing, I thought there would be no better topic than love. However, not just any love, but Christ’s love for every single one of us here on earth. It is through the many years of living with a chronic illness, that I have come to realize just how important it is to be fully aware of the depth and height of God’s love for me. Without it, life can all too easily seem very cruel, unfair, and pretty much pointless. However, when I meditate on the loving presence of God in my daily life, all of the hard edges of living with a chronic illness start to soften. What do I mean? Well, when we do not believe that God has a strong, everlasting love for us, we suddenly feel as though we are out of favor with Him. This causes us to be discontent with our circumstances, and thus try and fill the discontent with earthly possessions and passions. We see everyone around us as obviously being better, and thus “more loved,” by God, after all, they still have their health intact…right? However, making the assumption that God does not love you the way He loves others, is just one of the many ways that the devil likes to use trickery and deceit to ruin our lives. Just because you have a chronic illness, does not necessarily mean that you did something wrong, or that He chose to punish you. No, God allows His children to suffer not because He finds pleasure in their sorrow, but because if He did not allow it, then He would be a liar, something that would deny His very existence.
Ultimately, when God created this world, He gave us one commandment, and that was to serve and love Him just as He loved us. However, it wasn’t long until this freedom got the best of us, we disobeyed, and thus brought sin into the world. It is from that day forward, illness, sickness, famine, trials, and ultimately death, all became part of life. Therefore, it is quite easy to see that you do not necessarily have to do something wrong to “deserve” a given disease, rather, it is all part of the world we live in. However, despite how depressing or helpless this may seem, there is hope. God loved us so much, that despite the fact that we blatantly disobeyed His commandments, God sent His son to this earth to seek and to save those who are lost (i.e. all of us). By dying on the cross as an eternal gift for us sinners, He then opened the doors for humanity to acknowledge their mistake of sinning in the first place – salvation. Despite all that we have done, and continue to do wrong in this world, God promised that whomever believed and gave their life to Him, that they would not only be saved from eternal condemnation in Hell, but would also get to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Once again, God is keeping His promise of free will to us humans, and giving us the choice as to whether or not we want to surrender our lives to Him or not. In other words, God knew we would experience this health complication here on earth, and He wanted to give us a second chance where we could live, free of sin and its consequences. It is from the place of eternal salvation, that God also gives us many more promises, all of which can be found in His book, the Bible. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, will always give us all that we need, will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, will fill us with a never ending source of strength and peace. He also promises His grace is sufficient for all things, He will always forgive all of our sins, while everything in Life, including a given chronic illness, will work together for good, for those who love Him. The promises continue, as God continues to declare that He is with us wherever we go, in whatever circumstance, including a life of chronic illness. He says that despite how hard these times may be, that if we continue to hold fast and follow Him, that no good thing will He uphold from us. God promises to always be near to comfort us, guide us, and give us wisdom to face the challenges of today. Not only that, but He promises to take care of the future, and that we should never worry about tomorrow, as His hands are already over it. God also promises that, if we live a life according to His will, that He will give us the desires of our heart, that He will remain always faithful, and ultimately, no matter how many times we mess up, our destination of eternal salvation with Him in Heaven, is never taken away. When we hold on to all of the promises that God gave us, because He loves us, our earthly existence full of tears, pain, struggle, and disease, becomes so minuscule compared to that of the glory that we will be spending with Him in eternity. All that we must do is accept the unmatchable and unfathomable love that Christ showed us by dying on the cross for our sins.
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”