sacred sickness

So here I sit in my sweatpants. Not exactly the corporate casual attire we're supposed to wear in the office. That's because, due to sickness, I've been out of the office the past two days. I picked up a "bug" that my body has been battling. It's not a big deal, far from what I experienced during the three times I've gone toe-to-toe with cancer. Any type of sickness, however, is an unwelcome guest.

But it can also be just the bitter visitor we need. King Hezekiah was afflicted with a sickness that made him "deathly ill" (Isaiah 38:1). Though he had been a good, godly king in Judah for many of his years (2 Kings 18:1-5), he failed by seeking help from Egypt instead of God Himself (Isaiah 31). God brought some sacred sickness into Hezekiah's life to help him get well spiritually.

The steps the king took to get well were just what the doctor ordered: • Prayer. His first response was to pray (38:2). He spent some time with God, pouring out his heart before Him. • Humility. Hezekiah experienced a wake-up call, one that allowed him to see the brevity of life (2 Corinthians 5:1) and his own humble state (Isaiah 38:15).

He dropped to his knees before his holy, sovereign God. • Acceptance. He acknowledged that his good God had allowed his illness as a means of pointing him toward renewed service and life (v.16). • Praise. He praised God for His faithfulness, placing his focus and faith firmly on the Great Healer of hearts and bodies (vv.17-20).

God allows sickness in our lives for our good (Romans 8:28). We can grow in our relationship with Him as we call out to Him in prayer, acknowledge our human frailty, accept what He has allowed to take place, and praise Him even in our suffering (Job 1:21). , Tom Felten

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