Sick and tired...but loved and cared for by God!

God loves to make people whole, but it may require a certain level of sickness. You can hear it everywhere, "God wants you to be free of sickness", "Illness is not of God". Now while sickness is one of the ugliest elements of a fallen world, God is famous for leveraging sickness for his glory and our good. There's a whole other topic about not putting junk into our bodies, but for now let's just look at the role of sickness in making us into the people God longs for us to be. 

An early Jesus follower, named Paul, had authentic faith, and rock solid commitment to Jesus. Yet in his spiritual journey he found himself to be afflicted with, what most theologians believe to be, a persistent illness or sickness of some kind. Three times Paul asked God to give him relief and take it away. Paul wrote that God responded in the following way, "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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." The sickness would persist in Paul and we find no evidence that it ever lifted while he was on this earth.

The reasons God allowed Paul to sit in affliction are simple but powerful. 1. The favor of God goes far beyond physical health. To measure God's favor by our comfort is settling for far too little. 2. God's power can only be fully unleashed in the hotbed of weakness. This is so crazily different than what we assume that it seems impossible. But our weakness is the means God uses to drive us to a point of utter dependency. 

So let's look at sickness differently. Yes, ask God for relief and even release but don't measure his love and grace by whether you receive either. God has a bigger vision for our lives and a much broader view of what it will take to get us there. Do a "180 Now", ask God to use today's sickness or the one that will inevitably come our way, to be a moment in time when you trust God as never before and go his way, even if his way makes no sense in the moment. You can do this, God will help!

II Corinthians 12:9