“My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day; in the face of darkness light is near” (Job 17:11-12).
Chronic Illness can seem like a roadblock to our plans, and in some cases it can make our dreams unrealistic or impossible. It is easy to grieve over our loss of control that comes with illness. Sometimes you may wonder, “Why did God allow me to be chronically ill?” It’s hard to accept that we may spend the rest of our lives ill.
But we must have hope that God has bigger and better plans for us that involve using our illnesses for good.
A few months ago I discovered I have celiac disease which basically means my body attacks gluten (wheat). This is not news a sweets-loving seventeen-year-old wants to hear. Everything in my life had to change. I had to pack lunches, eat endless chicken Caesar salads at restaurants, and throw away my dreams of becoming a camp counselor (gluten-free food isn’t always easy to find in camp settings).
I would never choose a life like this for myself. But God is infinitely more experienced and wise than I ever will be, and He chose this life for me. Although I don’t know what the plan God has for me is, I do know that it involves bigger and better things that do not involve bread (or cookies, cake, etc.).
It can be hard to accept that our chronic illnesses are chronic and maybe even lifelong. That doesn’t mean that we have to live the rest of our lives feeling like these illnesses are unnecessary burdens.
The point is, we need start thinking like Job and finding hope in our future–even though it seems like there is little to hope for. God has a plan for us and His plan is better than we can even imagine. We need to put our faith in the Lord and that His plan is perfect.
Prayer: God help us find hope and strength through our illness and let us let go of the future we planned, instead of the future You planned. Amen.
Welcome to our newest devotional writer!
Brittany Alexander is a seventeen-year-old with celiac disease, migraines and joint hypermobility syndrome. She has been chronically ill for most of her life but tries to make the best of things. She enjoys math, computers, clarinet, and writing.
What is your dream-shattered-by-illness story? How did God work through it to show His ultimate plan that was even better?
Brittany is right, God does have amazing plans for you and I. This song, “I’ll Watch You Dance” with Holly Starr has some reassuring lyrics that we won’t just like God’s plans, we will be so excited about them we will be dancing! Sounds good, doesn’t it? -Lisa