Friday, November 23, 2012

When the body breaks down

Here is an interesting article about one former athlete's descent into the mire of medical problems.  In her struggles, I heard echoes of my own.
"I have known God's presence in unique ways during my journey from physical powerhouse to pathetic patient. As Christians, we know that we must take up our crosses and follow him daily. But what happens when that cross is gall bladder failure or an allergy to tomatoes? Saints in ages past were boiled in oil or crucified upside down for their faith. What good is it to suffer as an unwilling martyr merely to one's own brittle body?

"This would be the place for the inspiring testimonial about how spiritually transformative the experience of ill health has been. How I have been purified of fleshly pleasures and am now more single-mindedly focused on the celestial. Instead, I obsess about macaroni and pie. I find other ways to indulge, such as with junky magazines or mindless materialism." - Kathleen Anderson
My small group has been reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and Lewis mentions that our highest goal and highest good is not health.  We are not commanded to be healthy, and good health is not a requirement for us to have faith.  Poor health, in fact, helps us acknowledge our dependence on God, and that is a very valuable thing in a world that lies to us and says our comfort, pleasure, will, and ease are the most important things we can seek.  Not that anybody would really ask for it, per se, but when God is ruthlessly loving us and molding us for our betterment and His glory, sometimes the poor health is going to happen in a fallen world, and it won't seem fair and we won't know why and we will have to choose to keep praising Him and trying to make what meaning we can.

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