Focusing on the goal of living gets hard when our dear ones or we are ill. Oftentimes we encounter little children being attacked with deadly sicknesses. Some are born with illness. Some by birth are physically or mentally challenged. For some others, illness comes all of a sudden in the middle of their life’s journey in the form of accident, shock, heredity, an unhealthy lifestyle, pollution, and exposure to radiation, and in most cases, for unknown reasons. Young or old, be it the first, second or third person who is affected, the question that most often arises is this: Why is God so mean? Doesn’t He care? If God’s love is true that what joy can He have in letting His loved ones suffer? It is difficult to trust in God’s sovereign plan and to find answers for such tragic events or turnovers of life. But the good news is that God does not leave us alone with our questions and our pain.
Who is the source of illness? This is a very difficult question to answer. Some say it is God who tests His children with sufferings to have His name glorified and to bring them closer to Him; others say it is satan who brings such suffering upon us and not God. They say it is the curse, sins and satanic power that bring about such things. Some say it is the result of others’ jealousy, others’ curses and witchcraft. The fact is that God, when He created us, wanted us to be perfect. When sin entered the world, so did sickness and death. Looking through the pages of the Bible, we find both God and satan having control over the sickness of a person. God Himself asks the question, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” On the other hand, we find many incidents in the Bible where God heals disease by setting people free from evil spirits. God wants everyone to have a blessed new life free from all sickness and bondage. However, sometimes perhaps He allows satan to bring sickness and disease upon us to test our faith and our love of God. Sometimes, maybe God Himself gives us a spiritual refining by allowing us to go through His furnace and to grow stronger in faith. And most of the time, it is our own mistakes, human shortcomings and a sinful life that lead us to the hands of satan who takes control of our life and tries to ruin it. Wherever sickness may come from, it is important to know that it is God who is ultimately in control. Satan’s power is nothing to His and we are safe in His hands.
Perhaps you ask, Is God not loving? Why does He give such an intense test or allow satan to spread disease and struggles without stopping him? If God Himself is not compassionate, whom can we approach to seek justice? But the fact is, God alone has the authority to create meaning in a situation that seems hopeless. All He wants is we going to Him, to experience His loving care and strengthening presence. God has the power to deliver you from your physical sickness. Jesus can miraculously heal you just the same way He has healed in innumerable situations as recorded in the Bible. However your fundamental faith in God can not be based on your physical healing but on the Spiritual healing which comes only from God when we place our faith in Lord Jesus Christ. Sickness or health – “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” He Himself came to us in weakness, in the form of a human being, and He died on the cross suffering pain just like any normal human would undergo. God does not make us into super humans who are immune to sickness or pain. But even in our weakness He is strong. This means that He makes us strong in our weaknesses.
I do not even know God and His love. Does God have a purpose in my life, too? Can He bring meaning to my existence and to this suffering? The answer to these questions is YES. First of all, it is necessary to understand that though God sometimes allows us to go through tests, He will never put you to a test beyond what you can bear. He can give you strength in your weakness. He has conquered satan and death, and He also has the power to give you everything you need if you submit yourself to Him. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Yes, there will be difficulties. But God is with us all the way.
So when people we love or we become seriously ill, let’s not ask, Why me? but instead, ‘How shall I live, now that this has happened? We don’t have a certain answer to the question why God allows us to suffer. But we know that He never abandons us; not in our joy, and not in our suffering. He is the God who heals. Let’s come to Him in our weakness so that His strength will be displayed in our lives. Let’s experience His healing of our souls as we cry at His feet. He will never turn us away! Our hope is in Him. So do not fear. Do not worry. Jesus has conquered death and nailed your sins to the cross. He calls you to Him to heal you from your sufferings and give you a new life. Nothing can destroy you when you take your refuge in Him. Death, where is your sting, and grave, where is your victory? We are more than conquerors in Him who is our strength.