Sickness is never far from anyone of us. At any time, most of us do know of someone we love who has fallen ill. Sickness can disrupt our lives, prevent us from accomplishing our dreams, or simply stop us from doing what we enjoy. Sickness can bring long-lasting pain and torment to our minds and bodies. The strongest and the richest among us are not spared from it. Sickness is a road we all may walk through and could be followed by death.
Why then does God allow sickness? If Adam had not sinned, we would be living in a world without sickness. Sickness is a reminder that we are fallen and that we live in a fallen world.
Sickness is also God’s gracious reminder of our mortality. We will be fools if we spend too much of our time, effort, and resources to pamper and look after this temporal body of ours but spare no thoughts for the life to come.
The paralytic, the leper, the man with a withered hand, the woman who had twelve years of haemorrhage, and Jarius’ daughter in Mark 1-5 were all sick. Yet it was their sickness that led them to encounter the healing power of Christ. Their sickness drove them to seek the true life that is found in Christ alone.
Sickness can often be God’s grace to us, to break down the hardness of our hearts, to turn us back to Him. Sickness humbles us.
Paul also reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31, whether we eat or drink, to do it all for the glory of God. This must include how we respond to sickness. Our faith is of little worth if it does not hold up under sickness.
Therefore, in times of sickness, we can ask God not just for healing, but for faith to patiently endure whatever that may come. Sickness can be God’s visitation to prepare us to meet Him, to help us look forward to the place Christ has prepared for us, where there is no more tears or sorrow.
Hence, while we are in good health, we should make every effort to store up grace in our hearts so that our faith will not fail when the hour of testing comes. And while we are in good health, let us support those who are ill, so that we may all press on towards the Day that is approaching. It is as the Lord said concerning Lazarus’s illness in John 11:4, “This sickness is . . . but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”