What I’d Tell a Young Person Who Was Just Diagnosed With An Illness

When someone young is diagnosed with a chronic illness, what do you say? Elizabeth shares what her message would be.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40;29-31)

A young man, in the prime of life, is zapped of strength by illness. He appears healthy and works at a law firm, but he doesn’t feel like his peers. A blood disorder sends him to the doctor and hospital far more than his co-workers realize. In the tough legal world there is little room for weakness. Instead of playing racquetball, he has to wonder if another marrow transplant is around the corner. It seems tragic, doesn’t it?

My young friend, however, can come out the winner of the group by far.

After living with pain and illness for nearly 20 years now, I can look back on the journey. Counting the benefits is an easy task for me, the spiritual growth has been worth the ride. How do I explain that to this young man? I can’t, it has to be lived to be believed. And frankly, I hope he learns it. It will make the difference between existing and abundant living.

When we add God to the plan it is like a gust of wind under the wings of an eagle. Our bodies can scarcely walk, and cannot run even if chased! But many have been the times that I have soared to heights unknown while ill or hurting.

I can’t say I wish anyone a journey like mine, but such profound and deep growth cannot be granted to the physically well off. This young man is on the brink of greater opportunity than he can comprehend. But he must wait on the Lord, as verse tells us. We need to surrender the journey over to God and His holy will. If he does that, the view is fabulous and the retirement plan is out of this world!

Prayer: Father, thank You for converting this sorrow into richness. You have given my life a depth and beauty I would never have known. You also know how discouraged I get on rough days, and you meet me there, every time! Most Christians know they would be nothing without You, but I know of a blessed, secret place in the throes of agony where You show me glories I cannot describe to others. I praise You for this upside down mystery. Amen.

About the author:
Elizabeth Vendley is the wife of David, and lives in North Central Michigan. They have raised seven children. Elizabeth has lived with severe Interstitial Cystitis since 1996. Her passion is glorifying the Lord by writing out the lessons He has taught her. She would love to hear from readers through the Sunroom. Elizabeth welcomes readers to see her musings and gleanings in her blog http://evendley.blogspot.com/.

Can you find words to describe the precious communion your soul has known in times of illness and distress? Can You honestly even wish for an easier cross since you have tasted the sweetness of suffering with Lord as your only solace? Are you now, or can you remember a time when, at a place where such a view point seems impossible?

Joy Williams sings “Unafraid” in this video, and shares how no one is too young for God to use him or her. If you know of a young person going through a tough time, this is a nice video to share. I am thankful when people told me I was too young to start this ministry when I was 26 I didn’t listen. Encourage someone you know today! -Lisa

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