Can Chronic Illness Be a Badge of Honor?

Silver Lining

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

I find such comfort in this Scripture. In a way, as we deal with chronic illness, we receive a badge of honor. It is the honor of God giving us the strength and ability to help someone else with similar issues. I sure didn’t see it this way when I was first diagnosed with a chronic illness. In time, I graciously accepted the mission God had called me to.

When I began having symptoms, I was at a loss for words. Why is this happening to me? What is going on? I faced many doctors telling me it was just stress or psychological. The pain I felt was real, no doubt about that. However, the doctors did not see it that way.

When a doctor finally suspected rheumatoid arthritis, he sent me to a rheumatologist. He diagnosed me right away with fibromyalgia. I was so relieved. I finally found an answer to what was going on in my body. There was a name to my pain, it was validated as real. I went on to face many challenges, but I came through victorious in the end by God directing me to coping skills to deal with the problems and live life to its fullest.

If I had not had fibromyalgia I would not have been able to help others who are dealing with chronic pain, an undiagnosed chronic illness, or doctors discounting the illness as “just stress.” Most importantly, I was able to direct them to finding their strength in God to persevere through the trials.

So, the next time you become discouraged by the trials of a chronic illness, remember that every cloud has a silver lining. When you get through that trial, you can pick someone else up with encouragement and comfort to help them cope with the same issue in God’s strength.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to persevere through my chronic illness and grant me the strength to help others with Your love and grace.

About the Author:
Jodi Wheeler is a freelance Christian writer who lives in Tucson, Arizona. She enjoys writing articles and Bible studies for God’s glory. She desires to pass on the messages of hope and encouragement she has found in Christ. Christ is the one who not only gave her the ability to cope with the chronic illness, but pulled her through to the other side with a new strength and hope in Christ.

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