Where is God When I Am Sick?

Early one morning this week I had this thought when I was awakened with another coughing spell. I have been sick for a week now with what started as strep throat and is now an annoying cold with coughing and congestion. Life is quite miserable right now. In fact I can’t get through much of this blog until I need to cough or blow my nose.

I wondered why God doesn’t heal me. The immediate thought in my head was the question: have I ever asked?

Then I thought about that for a minute. I have never asked God to heal me when I have been sick with a nasty cold like this. Why not? I suppose I figured it wasn’t significant to ask God to heal. It isn’t something as serious as cancer or a heart condition. Is it really worth bothering God about?

So with several more hours left in the morning before time to get up I asked. I asked God to heal me.

As you can see, I am still sick. No better but no worse either.

I guess this is why I don’t ask because I fear the disappointment of not being healed. A lack of faith maybe? I don’t know. It was a test and nothing changed. I mean it’s just a cold right? Why test God? But wait….didn’t God challenge us to test Him? I will be honest. I’m a little confused right now. It could be due to all of the congestion.

It’s a cold right? It’s not a terminal illness. Why even ask God? The cold will eventually go away. No big deal right?

Yes, it’s just a cold but wouldn’t it have been amazing had I awakened this morning with no sign of a cold. No more coughing. No more endless sessions of blowing my nose. That would have been awesome.

I asked. He didn’t answer. So does that mean it is God will for me to be sick? How is that okay? I guess some things we just don’t get the answer too. I think about the story of Job. His world was completely destroyed for no reason. He asked God repeatedly and finally got an answer he wished he hadn’t asked for. Yeah, we are told about the “patience” of Job but read the story. He questioned God about it. He may have been patient but He didn’t suffer without asking questions.

I’m not Job. I’m Milton and I’m sitting here with a cold. I’m not the only one in the world with a cold. I’m sick but I’m not dying. God has his reasons I guess.

So where is He while I’m coughing so much at night that I can barely breathe? At least I can still breath so I’m okay. He doesn’t need to be bothered with me and this silly cold.

Where is God?

He’s here and He knows my condition. He’s the one who put the question in my head. Something I should think about and write about.

God heals. We can ask Him to heal us for any ailments even a common cold. We ask and either He does or He doesn’t. I can’t explain God to you. Sure, I could give you a list of references from the Bible but does that really mean anything when you head is filled with so much congestion that it feels it will explode? If I could explain God wouldn’t I be God? So, I have a choice to believe or not to believe. When we ask we also have to be ready for the answer. Sometimes the answer isn’t what we wanted it to be.

I have almost a lifetime of Bible training and years of pew time in the church. Healing always puzzles me. I still don’t understand how God chooses who He does and doesn’t heal.

My purpose isn’t to discourage you or me. I’m just being real. These are legitimate questions we have about God. Is it a reason not to believe in God because He doesn’t heal me when I’m sick? Absolutely not. Faith is not afraid of questions that we can’t answer. Our faith is in God – not in what He can do for me.

Do I like that answer? No, I can’t say that I do. So is that a reason for me to just stop being a believer? If it was then I have been in this relationship for the wrong reason. We get it wrong sometimes when we treat God like He’s some kind of celestial genie that we pull out when we need something. Just recite a Bible verse and end it with “in Jesus’ name” and it will be done. God doesn’t want an abracadabra relationship.

If God healed me of this current sickness then chances are there will be another one. So what then? Would He then be obligated to do it every time? No. He’s not under any obligation. He works in His ways and we are told that His ways are beyond our understanding. So like it or not we aren’t going to find a nice, easy answer. Sickness is a part of our lives. We manage it the best way we can. It’s still okay to ask God to heal us but we shouldn’t let our faith become weakened by it if He doesn’t.

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God’s Got Your Back

Have you ever been betrayed?

It hurts right to the heart.  It may be a family member, a spouse or someone you thought were your friend.  Whoever it is, it’s a difficult thing to overcome.  

God understands this pain.  It’s probably a good thing that He never gave us the ability to throw fireballs at people who wrong us or we would certainly be tempted to us it.  He’s also a God that won’t usually hurt the person that has hurt us.  

Most people want to immediately plot their revenge or be tempted to talk about the person who wronged you.  It’s very difficult not to.  We usually feel that we have some sort of right but we really don’t.  The Bible says to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) but you know that’s not so comforting when we are fresh from the betrayal.  

The best medicine for being “stabbed in the back” as we call it – is to let God heal us.  And exactly how is He able to heal us?

First we need to take it to Him.  Vent to Him about what happened.  Sit quietly and regroup.  If you retaliate then you are usually the one who looks worse in the end.  

Silence works.  Just don’t fuel it and don’t repay something wrong with doing something wrong.  God knows your hurt.  

Listen to spiritual songs that speak to you.  Many times in the past one song that I always go to is “Made Me Glad” by Hillsong.   I like the chorus when it says:

“You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower.  My very present help in time of need.”

Sometimes it’s hard to pray or talk to God about our hurt.  He also understands our tears.  Our tears speaks words that we can not say verbally.  

Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to do good to people who do us wrong.  It’s never easy to just eat it and press on.  Even more is when the wrongdoers act like they haven’t done anything wrong in the first place.  We want to hold people accountable for their actions but the reality is that people do get away with things.  Their actions go unchecked and their betrayals are never repaid.  If we don’t recover then we will find ourselves stuck reliving the betrayal and continue to be hurt. 

I have often been stuck on the verse that says God is our ever present help in time of need.  (Psalm 46:1)  I often read that as meaning God will fight back for me but it doesn’t mean that at all.  It means He will be present to help me and heal me.  He gives me a chance to take a timeout from the situation. 

I am not one that agrees we should make allowances for someone else’s bad behavior.  I have a hard time letting go when someone needs to be held accountable.  Life just doesn’t always even the score and it’s hard to accept that.  The longer something like this lingers, the harder it is to get over it.  

Somehow, some way we have to rise above the betrayal.  If someone hurts us we have to be good at taking the hit and continue living.  The emotional wounds may heal but sometimes they will leave scars.  The scars serve as a reminder that we live in an imperfect world with hurting people.  

God’s got your back.  He knows all about betrayal and pain.