The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
I lay in the hospital bed looking at the bright smiley face balloon contrasting against the beige-painted walls. An IV of antibiotics ran through my malnourished arm, and an ice pack sat on top of the needle that caused even more pain. Pain in my arm. Pain in my gut. Pain in my soul. Could God use even this for good?
Being hospitalized after a mission trip felt like a slap in the face. I went to serve God and His people. Why did I get so sick? It was an unable-to-keep-anything-down, sweating-in-pain kind of sickness.
That severe sickness ended up being a blessing in disguise, although I didn’t know it at the time. I was sick enough that the doctors poked and prodded and tested me to find a years-long battle with undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease.
After the pieces came together and the doctors knew the right course of treatment, I began to heal. Slowly I regained strength and learned how to live my life with the disease. My time in the hospital ended, but I would never be who I was before.
The road ahead was lined with doctor appointments, dietary plans, and lifelong medication. It can be frustrating to carry this weight, but I know amid the burden comes a testament to what God has done in my life.
When I lay in that hospital bed withering away in pain, I was convinced I would either die or live a miserable life. There is a song by Elevation Worship that says, “If I’m not dead, you’re not done.” I’m not dead, and God isn’t done.
Now I have the opportunity to share my story and also share how God has worked in my life. He healed me from that time of sickness, but I’m not physically whole, and I won’t be until I’m in heaven. Until then, I can tell others what God has done for me and what He can do for them.
If you’re not dead, God’s not done.
- How have you seen God work through your struggles? Journal about it.
- Who can you share your story of hope with today?