24th October 2009
Our sickness forces us to remain in bed. It is an unusual experience. The days are long and our natural freedom and strength taxed. The strangeness of being sick affects the way we think. Many of the things we thought important, become insignificant and friends who are close to us now become much more important. Being aware of our limitations can be a time to reflect on the meaning of life, our values and even God.
On the other hand we may be hurting and feeling that no one understands. Deep inside we may be frustrated and asking questions like "What have I done to deserve this?" Why is there sickness?
Christians believe that God has always intended that we should enjoy life, the very best of everything, however like a handful of gravel thrown into the workings of an intricate machine, God's perfect creation and order has been marred. The Bible says our self-centeredness; suffering and death are linked together as God's enemies. As part of a broken world we are all prone to unexpected accident, sickness and death. These things are never some sort of personal punishment directed at us. No, we may never understand the mystery of suffering but this much is certain; God wants us, like David in Psalm 23 to have a trust and confidence in Him. He wants to be our shepherd so that we can say, "I fear no evil." (Psalm 23:4)
To have a clear conscience and to enjoy this inner assurance, the matter of our own evil, our failure before God and others must be dealt with. This is a serious matter and only one that God can do something about. The amazing thing is that He has addressed our deep need!! Paul wrote: -
God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God's goodness into us. (2 Cor. 5:21)
Jesus death is an act in history that involves every person and that has been completed for you, it spells out the end of your guilt and releases you from sin and shame. Nothing can come to us though, that we are not prepared to receive. When people choose to humbly receive what Christ has done for them by saying yes and by handing over their lives to Him, then a new gift of life and freedom is experienced.
Have you ever personally chosen to receive Christ in this way? Do not be content to rest back with a general hope that all will be right. Determine to open your life to Christ. Use the prayer below, ask for forgiveness, then leave your care and your sickness in His hands, and with a new confidence say with Paul: -
"I know the one in whom I trust and I am sure that He is able to safely guard all that I have given Him until the day of His return". (2 Tim: 1:12)
O Lord, you are the centre of all life. You know me better than I know myself. Forgive me where I have failed you and others, thankyou that Christ died to set me free. I receive your gift of forgiveness and life now. Thank you that the past is finished with, once and for all. I trust myself to you, my future and all those I love, in Jesus Name. Amen.
Prepared by Rev Ted Curnow