I was in Borders tonight doing some research for a book I'm writing... yes, yes, I'm writing a book (shh, don't tell anyone).... about living with chronic medical problems. Perusing the Christian Inspiration section - which apparently can be anything from finding God in suffering to how prayer can melt away your fat - I saw a yellow hard-back on the shelf entitled, "The Meal that Heals." The book was about how celebrating Communion on a daily basis has the power to make us well. It was very theological sounding and well-researched with lots of Biblical quotes and history lessons. My point here is not to argue whether Communion has the power to heal physically, but rather to question the author's conclusion that spiritual health and physical health always exist together. On the back of the book was a promise that the author would reveal the biggest barrier to physical healing. Spoiler Alert: According to him, it's unforgiveness, which goes hand-in-hand with lack of faith.
So here I am, getting ready to write a book about the spiritual benefits of walking through illness and I suddenly find out that my illness isn't about bringing glory to God; it's because my faith isn't big enough and/or I am failing to forgive someone. I had just put down a book by Joyce Meyer that said in the introduction that God wants us looking good and feeling good so we can best serve Him in this life. Excuse me?
Well, I'm not going to let Perry Stone, or even Joyce Meyer, tell me that God's plan for all Christians is to live a life of health. Yes, initially, that was His plan but Adam and Eve brought sin and death into the world. And as a result some of us - many of us - will face physical brokenness. I've spent 15 years trying to glorify God in my suffering and, honestly, failing miserably sometimes. But the Lord desires that I continue to try. He is weaving something beautiful out of my threads of pain.
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)