Beliefnet
Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Image Courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Early on in my journey with lupus, a Christian said to me, “You’re not cured because you’re not faithful enough.” When I challenged her on this, she said that she though God was punishing me for my “lack of belief!”

I’ve never believed that illness in our lives was a punishment from God. He loves us, each of us. The proof is Jesus on the cross, Christ risen! But still, some people equate illness with punishment.

I understand this a little; being sick can sure feel as if we’re being pummeled. Moreover, most of us “patients” have wondered, “What did I do to deserve this?” But to think that God, in His ever-merciful presence, is inflicting us with suffering because we need “punishment” is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps our journeys with illness are tests, or ways in which we are meant to come to a greater understanding of God, or come to deeper personal growth. But pure punishment? No.

Truly, no matter how much pain we are enduring, no matter how serious our illness, God wants to bring us comfort, peace, and, yes, blessings of joy. If we cower from God because we believe we’re being punished, we will deprive ourselves of the love that He offers freely and constantly. We’ll also be weaker as we face the challenges that beset our lives – and with illness and pain, we need all the strength we can obtain! Think of it this way, we need God in our corner, not absent from our lives!

Instead of asking God, “Why are you doing this to me?” I try to ask, “What am I to learn from this?” or “What do I need to understand?” or “What do I do with this?”

I want to be closer to God, not more distant.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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