I’m writing about physical illness, but really this applies to any kind of prolonged suffering, any kind of anguished waiting that seems to never end.
Days of pain, years of waiting, takes its toll. You just get sick of being sick. But as long as you’re breathing, as long as God still lives, don’t give up.
There are going to be days when you give up. Who am I kidding? Sometimes you just can’t do it anymore. For a Christian, that’s a scary place. How do you give up on God? Isn’t that an unpardonable sin or something? Isn’t it the same as renouncing your faith and going to hell? A secret part of you sometimes doesn’t care anymore, because honestly you just don’t know where God is in all of this, and you’re tired of being tired.
The thing is, God already knows what you’re thinking.
So don’t be afraid to admit it. Don’t be afraid to go there. He isn’t going to be shocked. Let it all out: I can’t do this any more, God. I’ve had it!
But know God isn’t going to give up on you because you’ve given up on him. So do all your complaining and then let him carry you.
Faith is a funny thing. Sometimes it means you stand up and fight, and sometimes it means you lay it all down and let him do it. I’m not sure which requires more faith, but a sick Christian has to do both, sometimes at the same time. It all kind of runs together.
I imagine it as a circle. You come all the way to the end of hope and find the beginning of hope all over again.
The key is God in the equation. You’re not just giving in to nothingness. You’re letting yourself fall into his arms. Being a sick Christian can be more work than being a sick “regular” person. There’s all that faith to hold onto, for one. It’s pretty darn tiresome.
Like a child who gets over tired, sometimes you just need to have your tantrum and your tears, beat your fists against your Father’s chest. Sometimes you just need to feel those arms around you, loving you still. No matter what. And when you stop pushing him away, when you collapse into his arms in a weary heap, he carries you.