If ever there is a time that we need rest, it is when we are sick. We need the physical rest so that our bodies can rally our immune system.
And we often need mental rest, too. Sometimes it is just something non-life-threatening like a cold or a migraine. We lie there and try not to think about all that we should be doing but simply can’t.
Sometimes, when it is something potentially life-threatening, we lie awake and worry about what the medical test results will be. And then often we start to wonder why. Has that unhealthy lifestyle finally caught up with us? Was it the drugs we took 20 years ago? Was it the extra weight we have been carrying for the past few years? Is God punishing us for that secret sin that no one else knows about?
Read Mark 2:1-4. What was happening here?
For the paralytic in this story, it was an obvious case. In The Desire of Ages (pages 267-271), we get the background. The paralytic had done some things that he was not very proud of. His sinful life caused this sickness, and the spiritual experts drew a straight line from cause to effect. He had brought this disease upon himself by his sins, and there was no cure.
This attitude can be very typical. We often seem to be obsessed with who did it. If some crime has been committed, someone must pay for it. If there is an accident somewhere, someone should be sued. But assigning blame does not bring healing or wholeness to the one who is sick.
God’s original design did not include pain, disease, and suffering. Sickness came to this planet only with the entrance of sin. That’s why God gives us health guidelines — so that we can enjoy a better quality of life now. But as long as we are in this sin-sick world, there will be no guarantees of health, no matter how diligently we follow healthful principles.
The good news is that God can give us rest whether we are sick or healthy; whether our sickness is a result of our own doing or someone else’s neglect, our genes, or just a byproduct of living in this sinful world. God knows how to give us rest.
|When someone gets sick, it’s not good to start assigning blame. At the same time, why can understanding the cause of a sickness be, in some cases, a crucial step toward healing and recovery?|