Lessons from Sickness

As I am catching up with friends over the break, I am realizing how much I learned from my extended period of sickness.

1. God’s is sovereign beyond my comprehension. I have realized that the idea of trying to comprehend this is not possible. I read through the book of Job, and I was very tempted to compare my own struggles to those that Job was going through. Now that I look back, that is very foolish, but cut me some slack because DURING struggles they seem a lot more difficult.What I learned was my attitude of being willing to glorify God is not based on my circumstances.

2. I am surrounded by an incredible amount of friends and family who are willing to care for me. Theo was basically my strength throughout the whole thing, he was the one who kept me eating and who kept my supplied with medicine and doctors visits. Not only that, he also sat and listened while I cried and asked questions, sometimes questions that really cannot be answered. My roomate lived through a lot, too. A mess, and a constantly sick and grumpy roomate. What a wonderful woman she is! Theo’s family (both immediate and extended) opened up their homes and their hearts to me and helped to take care of me. My Mom flew all the way from Africa, which was a huge sacrifice- not only on her part, but also on my Dad’s part (being willing to be left on the mission field without his life partner) and everyone who works with my Mom in the SIM office, who encouraged her to leave, while they added to their shoulders the extra work that my Mom would have been doing.

3. The prosperity gospel is prevalent yet subtle in Christian culture today. The prosperity gospel is one that declares when you follow Christ, you will be blessed and prosper materially in the world today. This is a false gospel, one that I am sure the founders of the early church would have preached against. Nowhere in the Word does it say that if you follow Christ you will never have struggles. Nope. Not in this world. In fact, over and over and over again it says that you WILL have troubles, that you MUST be prepared for WHEN (not if) trials come.

4. The glory of God DOES equal blessings to me. Now, let me explain this one, because it is hard for me to wrap my mind around this. First, please note that I am not saying that when God gets glory, I get prosperity. But I do get blessed. You see, when my life is glorifying God I will be blessed, because if my heart is truly set on glorifying God, that in itself will be enough blessing for my life. I don’t know a better way to explain that, but it is something that I have learned and that I am learning.

5. You CAN be nauseated for weeks straight without being pregnant and without throwing up. And it is horrible.

6. Discouragement is the greatest tool of the devil in my life. Even worse than the sickness itself is how discouraged I would get. I couldn’t get out of bed a lot of the days. I could make it half way across the campus and then Theo would have to drive his car, pick me up and take me right back to my room where I started. My social life lacked. My grades started to slip. I could give Theo almost nothing in our relationship. Satan used all these things to tell me that I was useless and I was never going to get better. And that was the hardest thing to fight!

Well, just a couple thoughts for now….

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3 thoughts on “Lessons from Sickness

  1. Alesha says:

    1. I am SO SO SO glad that you are feeling better!

    2. Thank you for sharing these things. I always feel like I’m drawn a little closer to God after reading some of your blog posts.

    3. The prosperity gospel thing? That’s prevalent down here. It bugs me to no end. Another thing that is really common down here is what they call “Claiming it” i.e. if you say it it will happen. Bunch of superstitions mumbo jumbo if you ask me!

  2. Leanne says:

    Good thoughts Suzanne – you are right that the prosperity gospel is still very very evident in subtle ways in our Christian culture. I have found this as well… and it’s frustrating, eh? But it makes me realize how careful I have to be as I encourage and talk with people…

  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Right now it may be hard to see, since you don’t have the distance from it yet, but this illness made you a stronger, better person (I know….not the way you would have chosen for that to happen!) and it will help you in empathizing with others. And yes, the prosperity gospel is a pack of lies. A friend of mine shared on facebook how sick he was and a friend of his replied that Christians should not be sick because they can claim healing. Well, this guy is about as godly as they come and he was sick. So is he not a Christian since he had no power over his illness? It just adds guilt to an already miserable situation. The Bible says WHEN you face trials and tribulations….it is a given. And God gets the glory that you got such good grades! And that you are feeling better! And that Theo is so wonderful!

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