Chronic Illness Awareness Week is coming up. September 14-20 has been set aside to educate and inform people about chronic illness. One thing that I think everyone with a chronic illness will agree on is that it can be very isolating. Always having to cancel plans. Never being able to fully commit to something because your illness may rear its ugly head.
If it weren't for God, and the angels He has sent my way, I couldn't get through this. I can't imagine how those who don't know the Lord make it. I would have no hope. And without hope, I wouldn't survive. It's that simple. Take away my hope, take away my life.
1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;
I am a dread to my friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
there is terror on every side;
they conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies
and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and lie silent in the grave.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from the intrigues of men;
in your dwelling you keep them safe
from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed his wonderful love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
22 In my alarm I said,
"I am cut off from your sight!"
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.
Read back over verses 7-10. God sees. He knows. He understands. He loves you. He is still on the throne. He will set our feet in a spacious place. Our reply should be like David's in verse 14: "I trust in You. You are my God." It's not always easy, but it is true. God is good. All the time. It is His nature.
So then why do we suffer? That, my friends, is the age old question. We live in a fallen world. We live on a broken, dying planet, and illness and hurt and crime and pain all go with that. Is God still in control? Of course. He never said it would be easy, but He did say it would be WORTH it.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
Not worth comparing. We compare everything, don't we? But our present sufferings won't even be worth comparing to the glory we will receive if we just hang in there.
You can do this.