The Bible compares humans to wildflowers that are here today and gone tomorrow (Psalm 103:15-16, 1 Peter 1:24). While Christians have likely heard these verses many times, the reality of our own mortality sometimes only sinks in after a serious illness threatens our life.
The lack of control we have over our lives and health can be frightening or even paralyzing. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus assures us that God is aware of each tiny sparrow's fall and that we are loved even more than them.
Much of the Bible is spent sharing this message of God's deep love for us and the desire He has for a relationship with His children. The knowledge that God is with us at all times and uses every situation for our good offers hope and strength in times of adversity. It is in facing and overcoming these hardships that we as believers can grow and have a greater understanding of the blessings that faith and resilience can bring to our lives.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:27,34 ESV
When life is going well, it's easy to take for granted that we always have tomorrow to finish a task or call a friend. Tomorrows are never a guarantee, however, and this is one of the first lessons a serious illness teaches us.
Though it can be hard to deal with this truth, God's promises and presence provide a solid foundation on which we can place our hopes for this life as we recover and for the next one when it is time for Him to call us home.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 ESV
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "the LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV
Age makes it more difficult to bounce back from an illness, and even with modern medical advancements, there are still many chronic illnesses that have no cure.
It can be hard to remain joyful when we are tired and in pain. The psalmist bids us to remember to rejoice in each day the Lord makes (Psalms 118:24), and the author of Lamentations shows us how when he states that God is our portion and that each morning brings new mercies.
We may not be able to push past the pain enough to sing every morning, but the faith and resilience that this knowledge stirs up in us can help us to join Paul in contentedly stating:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10