I do not know how to describe this extraordinary illness. …I seemed nearly always to be delirious;… . But if God allowed the devil to approach me in this open way, Angels too were sent to console and strengthen me. –St Therese of Liseux
My thought today is about illness. Two of my family members have serious illnesses – very serious. One just got out of the hospital and if she doesn’t take of herself, she may end up back there. The other is undergoing various procedures before having to endure a long term treatment process. This is all very hard on my little family. There aren’t many of us and there’s almost too much pressure for the rest of us to carry. But carry, we will.
St Therese seemed to believe that it was the devil who brought her an illness. I don’t believe in the devil – but I’m not writing about that now. What I am writing about – and praying about – is how to help my family members should they begin to blame God for these trials. Or should I even concern myself with that? After all, God is God and He can handle their blame.
I don’t think God is to blame here; there is no blame. It just is. Illness occurs and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. Rather than blaming God for the horrors and sadness of our lives wouldn’t it be better to thank Him? Not for the illness, of course, but for the strength and fortitude to endure it. Believing in an Unseen God is hard enough and when we pile on anger and blame, it gets even harder to believe – to trust.
Taking a page from the lyrics of Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus, one day at a time.”
The God who flung the heavens into space, the planets into orbit— the God who created violets and waving Spanish moss won’t be confined to any human concept. It is, of course, our distorted concept of Him which goes into that pat answer we concoct, and it is we who are the losers when we do not find Him exactly as we decided He should be. Eugenia Price, No Pat Answers
I’ve been thinking about the power of God these past few days and I’m thinking how easy it would be to blame Him for the lack of it in my life – and in my family’s life. My family has been going through a rough patch these last days -not that we haven’t been in some before – but this one is different. And though we don’t talk openly about it, I wonder if we aren’t all questioning whether God has chosen to bless us or curse us.
I suppose we could say that God has cursed us and therefore He doesn’t love us; or we could say God gave us these trials for a reason and then we search to find the reason. And while I have my doubts about God, somewhere deep in the soul of my soul, I believe these trials are not sent by God and that there is no ‘reason’ for them. They just are. Human bodies break down; they get sick, sometimes they recover and sometimes they don’t. Yes, God created these fleshy temples for our spirits but it doesn’t mean He wants illness to happen. It just does. And to truly understand that there is no reason for it is to accept the full Love and Care of God for His children – for me – for my family.
So, this is what I have decided for me – each of us has to decide how we are with God – I choose to trust God. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if and when healing will happen. But I trust God. I trust Him to be my Rock, my Shelter and my Comfort. And that each day I must choose again, because with each dawn brings fresh doubts and a choice – do I trust or do I turn away? I pray for the strength to make the right choice for me each day.