In Sickness and In Health

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Our family has been beaten down over the past few months, riddled with various illnesses. Our oldest daughter has missed so many school days that I stopped counting after we reached double-digits. As long as I can remember, we’ve never had a year like this. We’ve waded through some pretty weird stuff, like third world diseases from Haiti. Even tropical sprue…who’s even heard of such a thing before!? Giardia, pneumonia, flu, cedar fever…well guess what? We’ve had these bothersome illnesses, too.

Some days…no, lately, numerous days…I struggle to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

When you are not feeling well, life can be a struggle. You begin to see life through a cloudy lens. At these times, it is most difficult to trust and believe that “God is working all things together for our good.” Romans 8:28

There are words we say in our wedding vows, “In sickness and in health.” They mean that no matter how we feel, we will be there, by our spouse’s side. We will not trust our emotions and feelings in the days we lie bedridden, but rather trust that there is a lesson to be learned. We don’t get to pick and choose how we physically feel.

When we take our wedding vow, it has some stick-to-it-iveness.

As written in Ephesians, “’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” (5:31-32). Throughout scripture, Christians are referred to as “the bride of Christ.”

Likewise, we have made a commitment, or vow, to stick with our faith even when the going gets tough.

It’s much easier to praise God when I’m feeling well. It comes more naturally to worship Him when my life is good. However, the real test of faith comes my way when I don’t feel like it. When the going gets tough. When I’m tired and weary. The question arises, what will I do then?

James 1:12 says: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.”

In Greek, the word perseverance means “to remain” (hypo) and  “under, endurance.” (meno). In other words, perseverance means to remain under the pressure and difficulty of life until God accomplishes His work in us.

It means submitting to His will, not ours.

There is a greater purpose being accomplished in our suffering, which should give us a glimmer of hope. May we allow God to reveal Himself to us, even when we’re not feeling so swell. For it is in times like these that our light truly does shine!

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