A recent article written by the Christian Medical and Detal Association addresses how faith impacts health both mentally and physically. As Daniel Fountain, MD, wrote in his book God, Medicine and Miracles, “To be healed means much more than to be cured of a disease. When we are healed, we are restored as people in whom God’s image is being renewed. Even if the disease of the body remains, the renewal of God’s image in heart, mind, soul, and spirit is always possible and should be our goal.” (pg. 70)
What is your story of healing? Did it first cause you pain before the healing came? Healing is a time consuming, painful process for most people. As Daniel Fountain points out, healing is deeper than the disease itself. In fact, you can be healed with or without your physical health being restored.
It wasn’t quite the healing I imagined, but my prayers were answered. As a young couple, we experienced infertility, without documented cause. We went through all the testing, prodding, and I even went through surgery for endometriosis. After much greif over our condition, our prayers were answered by the womb of our hearts being made fertile to nurture and love the seed of adoption that was planted there by God to produce two beautiful children. Healing came, but the infertility of my body remained. What if I had chosen to close myself off to the will of God and hold on to my own way of bearing children? What if my husband had done this? A life without children would be ours as well as a life without the joy and pain of raising a boy and and a girl with souls and hearts for God. Praise God we chose the healing power of God.
Infertility is one thing, but how do you heal internally from a chronic illness that may or may not be with you physically for the rest of your life? In our immediate family, we have experienced this first hand. The first step to healing in the life of the person with chronic illness and in the life of the caretaker is acceptance. (James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – KJV)
The next step for both parties is to take responsibility for what God has given to you. (Romans 14:11-12- It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. – NIV)
The Lord will bring you help along the way if you are living in obedience to him in how you care for yourself and your family and how you project his character in your life through your imperfect state. Just read the story of Joseph in the Bible! (Genesis 37-42) When dealing with Chronic illness it’s good to remember that God’s will is always accomplished through imperfect vessels so that HE receives the glory and not us. He is God. He is the potter, I am the clay. Easier said than done, though, right?.
I’m very thankful for the grace of God when I have failed in doing what I know to be true in relationship to our family’s history with Chronic illness. I thank God for teaching me these lessons over and over again, although sometimes it’s a painful process. I’m so glad he never tires of the depth of my humanity.