A lot of people seem to regard illness as something like curse–something that we need to move past as quickly as possible so we can get to Victory. Overcoming.
And as someone who’s suffered through brain surgery with a diagnosis of glioma, then demylenating lesion and an Inoperable Walnut-Sized Thing in my brain stem, I can tell you that I don’t much like being sick. I’ve felt downright rotten for three months now, and I still don’t have a diagnosis.
So don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of healing, and I believe God heals.
I just don’t believe God’s plan is to heal everyone all the time.
God uses people with “street creds” in hospitals, clinics, and other medical settings to talk about hope when life hurts. Really, really hurts. I mean, like when you get a craniotomy for Christmas. And all your IV sites explode. And even Mayo Clinic docs can’t figure our what’s going on inside your head.
We live in a messed up world where sickness and disease are part of life. And yeah, I know the verse that tells me that by Jesus stripes I’m healed. I believe that verse is true..
Every good thing I experience in life comes because of Jesus’ redemption for me. I just don’t think that as long as I’m living in the muck and mire of this earth, I get a free pass on suffering. I believe I’m actually called to SHARE in Jesus’ sufferings.
As I work through my pain and frustration, I AM showing people what victory looks like. I’m showing them what “overcoming” means on a day-to-day basis.
That doesn’t mean I’m always singing songs. Pain hurts. Jesus shed real blood for us. He cried in real agony for us. He suffered. I’m called to take my my cross and follow him. If he chooses to heal me, I’ll take it–gladly. If I live for the next thirty years with chronic illness like millions of believers and nonbelievers in this nation every day, I will do it with as much gratitude and grace as I can muster, with the Spirit’s help.
Victory doesn’t depend on healing in the here and now. It means embracing God’s goodness in the here and now, no matter the pain.
Embracing God’s goodness in pain means learning more about God–snuggling into his character, knowing him more, trusting him more, wherever he takes us.
What about YOU? How have you embraced God’s goodness in your pain?