When Family and Friends Are Not Around to Help You When You Are Ill

“For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.” (Psalm 72:12)

I know that I am blessed to have a family who has stepped forward when I have had instances where I have been recovering from surgery or an infection. Though they live more than a thousand miles away, they come when I need them. At the same time, I have smaller, daily needs when they couldn’t be here and friends did not show up.

Last year at this time, still in an Outrigger splint from joint replacement surgery and not allowed to drive, I was literally taking a taxi around our little town to pick my son up at school or take him to karate.

When I asked his AWANA leader if he could pick him up (we are a block away) I was given a “meant-to-be-funny-but-not-funny-at-all” comment about “if he remembered.” So, how do I explain that to my son? You can go if the leader remembers?

The woman at my church who tried to help me find a ride to therapy had difficulty locating a person out of our 7,000-member church. When she called me she forgot my name–and she had the same name as me!

I tried to take comfort in the irony that I am a speaker who explains to pastors the needs of the chronically ill and I couldn’t find someone in my church to help (They did eventually find someone, but she also had surgery scheduled and had her own list of doctor’s appointments.) I tried to laugh about the fact that my friends didn’t call me, even to take me for coffee.

I told myself God would use the situation so I understood the depths of how hard is it to ask for help. And how emotional it is when you ask for help and get no response.

Scripture tells us God will deliver us if we cry out. I am still learning how to reconcile what that means when you absolutely, positively have to get to therapy or your surgery was pointless–and you’ve called everyone you know, a Taxi is $120, and a bus would take 6+ hours. Spiritual delivery and hope from the Lord I understand. Logistics? Well, I am still learning how His hand works in that and I just wanted to let you know I understand how it feels when people disappoint you. You are not alone.

Prayer: Lord, teach me when and how to cry out to You. You know my needs and promise to provide for them. Help me understand where to turn when all resources are used up.

About the Author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries which she began a few years after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1993. She is the author of “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend,” available at http://beyondcasseroles.com and 100% of the proceeds support Rest Ministries.

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