“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your presence before this temple that bears Your name and will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us” (2 Chronicles 20:9).
Those of us who struggle with chronic illness are fighting a battle. Where can we find comfort? I found it in a surprising place: 2 Chronicles 10:1-30.
As I read the passage, I imagined that the approaching enemy represented my illness. Something daunting and out of my control. I identified with King Jehoshaphat’s fear and learned from his response.
He first prayed, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are You not the God who is in heaven? . . . Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You” (v. 6).
I too can crowd out worry by reflecting on God’s power.
The king proclaimed his unwavering faith. He stood in God’s presence and cried out in distress. Knowing God would hear and save him (v. 9).
No matter what happens to my body or in my life, I can be assured of His presence and know God hears me.
“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You” (v. 12).
Multiple sclerosis has rendered me helpless. So I’ll keep my eyes on God in the face of unrelenting illness and uncertainty.
God reassured him: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15).
“Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you . . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged . . . the Lord will be with you” (v. 17).
“The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side” (v. 29, 30).
Prayer: Dear Father, I pray others will fear You when they hear how You work in my life. Please give me “rest on every side.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net
I compared my illness to an approaching enemy. What other symbolism can you find for illness?
This video is “The More I Seek You” with Kari Jobe and she sings of how the more we seek God, the more we find and the more we find, the more we love. It’s not that difficult of a mystery to find and love God. He is ready to work within us all the time, but we must give Him permission to enter in. This is a beautiful and simple worship song I think you will be blessed by. -Lisa