My family is usually pretty healthy. We have the occasional cold and allergy issues. But, I am pretty sure I can still count the number of stomach bugs we’ve experienced in our family. The whole family had the flu one time and only one. We are rarely all sick at once.
I love that God knew I needed a healthy family. I love that He knew that I tend to break down in times of sickness. Mild things I can handle, but real sickness makes me want to run away. Far, far away. It makes me feel claustrophobic and edgy. I want to be patient. I want to be comforting. But, something inside me just snaps and I feel like I’m going to go insane if health is not restored.
But I also love that God works in me such an intense love for my family that I can’t run away when one of them is sick. He works through me to keep me right here where I belong, nurturing and caring to the best of my ability. I am not the greatest nurse by any stretch of the imagination – that probably has something to do with the aforementioned aversion to sickness. But, I love my family. And because of that love, I just can’t run away.
Recently, Steven had another bout of croup. As I nursed his symptoms and waited for the virus to run its course, I felt the exhaustion seep in a little at a time. But, in the middle of it all, an exceedingly profound thought invaded.
God clothed Himself in my sickness to bring about my salvation.
God the Father did not just send His Son to doctor us in the disgustingly fatal sickness of sin. Jesus didn’t come to nurse our symptoms. He didn’t come to try to make us more comfortable. He came to take on my sickness. To wrap Himself in it so that I could be healed. And not just mine…yours and everyone else’s throughout history as well.
It boggles my mind. My sickness. My fatal disease. My death. He swooped in and took it from me. He claimed it as His own. And now I’m free. Oh, earthly sicknesses may now and then attack my body on this earth, but I am eternally healed. While I long to run away from any sign of sickness, my God ran straight for it and absorbed Himself in it.
The same God who helps me love my children through their physical illnesses is the God who hungers to love this world through me. Often I want to run from the spiritual illnesses of this world as quickly as I long to run from physical illnesses. But, just as God loves my children through me, driving me to care for them through any physical illness, so does He love this world through me. May I let that love shine, letting Him use me to work perfect healing to this diseased world.