I want to correct a little theology from yesterday. I believe I said that God had immobilized me through my autoimmune disease. That really makes it seem like He intended for me to have this disease. I’m not sure about that. In fact, I am sure that God created all things in His image — whole, healthy, sinless, perfect. I am fairly confident that illness — all illness — is a result of sin. I don’t understand it, that’s a fact, but I believe that God desires for all people to be well and whole. In fact, I believe that one day I will be — on this side of eternity or the other.
Why am I bringing this up? Because this morning, during my self-imposed three-day-weekend of rest, I opened my Bible study for the second day in a row and read these words:
Remember that most of what God does is invisible — totally outside our realm of observation or understanding. We cannot base our faith on what He appears to be doing or how dramatically He answers our prayers — because faith founded on God’s apparent actions is not faith at all (Moore, Whispers of Hope, 112).
When I say something like “God has immobilized me,” I am implying that I know what God was thinking and that I am sure that He is the one who ‘afflicted’ me with this illness. I don’t know that. Here’s what I do know. Three years ago I began having symptoms that slowed me down, made me uncomfortable, and eventually put me in bed for large chunks of time. For about the first two years of that discomfort I tried to fight back. I was angry, complaining, and searching for a fix to my problem. (And, guys, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t still welcome a fix to this problem.) But about a year ago, I shifted gears. God had provided a way for me to be still in this illness — he allowed me some time off from work and busyness. In that stillness, He inserted time for me to write. He inserted friends who included me in Bible study and prayer. He provided resources that spoke directly to my need. He entered into my illness with me.
Now, I am not implying that He could not have entered into my busyness in a different way. Not at all. I am saying that once I was slowed down, for whatever reason, I was able to more clearly see His involvement in my life. For that reason, I am thankful for my autoimmune disease. I don’t love my autoimmune disease, but I am thankful for it. And I believe that God will continue to work in this and all circumstances. I have no idea what He has planned, but I am confident that His plans are exponentially better than mine.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,…