“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
I was recently thinking about how messed up illness makes my life. Most people look forward to fun events like going to ball games or family outings, but for those of us in constant survival mode there is nothing simple about planning ahead for events.
I remember when I was young the joy of expectation about upcoming events. Now everything feels like a “trip to the dentist.” If it is an outdoor event I worry about the pollen count and my terrible asthma and allergies, and higher temperatures usually means more stress on my poor health.
There have been events where I worried about my diabetes causing me issues, or my Crohn’s disease acting up. Then there is the always present Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that just makes me want to crawl back in bed all day long.
How terrible that even simple events can feel so catastrophic for the chronically ill. When we should be enjoying life it feels like a constant struggle to just survive it! And then there is the disappointment, the all too frequent disappointment, when we must yet again beg off of an event because of health issues that leaves both others and ourselves feeling let down yet again.
There is no pat answer for such disappointments. This is part of the cost of our illnesses and with God’s help it is something we must try to be philosophical about, accepting the reality that our health woes are going to interfere with our lives. We need the peace and presence of God to help us not to become crushed under the weight of disappointment, and we must be honest with others and ourselves about our abilities and the disabilities we deal with on a daily basis.
We need God’s peace in the constant storms that affliction brings into our lives, and especially for the good times affliction steals from us due to our health challenges.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when we face disappointment because of illness, when it seems we are barely surviving day to day, let others see Your peace and presence at work in our weakness, let Your strength be seen in our lives. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. Illness has robbed him of much in life, yet God is faithful and has blessed him in the land of his affliction.
Do you feel constantly disappointed by your illness? Does it seem you are too often merely surviving your health problems?
This is a beautiful worship-style song, “Yearn” with Shane and Shane. The video is made by a church and it you may just find yourself in one or two of the people holding the sign. We all want to be able to celebrate those good times and yearn for all that God desires for us and of us. Sometimes other things than our illness are actually holding us back. I hope it blesses you. -Lisa