I’m a pastor of a very young church, with lots of children. The median age of our church is about 18 years old. As a result, I don’t conduct very many funerals, nor do I make too many hospital visits (except to the maternity floors). However, we have had several people hospitalized in recent weeks, facing some very difficult circumstances, each requiring surgery.
I have been super encouraged by the way that they have faced their illnesses. Without exception, they have faced their surgeries with great joy, knowing that God is sovereign over their sickness and that God is good regarding His plan for their lives. This makes my role as a pastor quite enjoyable, as I have the privilege of seeing faith in action when it is really needed.
But, please realize that it’s not an accident that these people are facing their challenges with joy. For years, they have been feeding their souls upon the Word of God. They have meditated deeply upon His character. They are absolutely convinced that their sickness was no accident. They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has a good plan in their difficulties (even if they don’t understand it all). They have thought deeply about their own trust in Christ and His forgiving them through the cross.
Are you ready for a tragic illness to come your way? It’s just a matter of time before it comes upon you. Once you are in the hospital, it’s too late to begin. Here are some ways that you can prepare today for the day you face your own sickness (or death).
– Think much upon God’s goodness and His greatness.
– Read and memorize and meditate upon chapters in the Bible, such as Romans 8.
– Read books like Marc Maillefer’s book, “God in the Storm” or D. A. Carson’s book, “How Long, O Lord?”