Growing up in England I used to watch The Young Ones on television.  It is not exactly the kind of programming that I would recommend to conservative, Christian audiences but it was a huge cultural phenomenon in the mid 1980’s in England.  I remember coming to school after an episode called ‘Sick’.  In it all the students living in the same house are really sick with a cold.  Each time one of them sneezes there is a terrible slurping sound that signified some unsuspecting object getting covered in snot.  In my school every time someone sneezed in class it became standard practice to copy that slurping sound.  In Moody Bible Institute right now I feel like we are reliving the episode as many students are sick and those that drag themselves to class are lethargic.

There are those who believe that Christians shouldn’t get sick.  They believe that God wants us all to be well all of the time.  The reason that we are not well is because of a lack of faith.  They will quote verses like, “By His (Jesus’)stripes we are healed.”  They will say that because Jesus took on his back the physical beatings of a whip (his stripes) so that we are healed of all of our illnesses.  My mother and father in law can be cured of their cerebral palsey if they just have enough faith; I needn’t have a cold; the person with a headache shouldn’t have one.  Of course this view is absurd.  When each of us dies it must be one huge lack of faith! 

God is with us in times of illness; In heaven there is no sickness; God works through pain and suffering.  These thoughts are comforting.  Sometimes God does heal in miraculous ways, but he is not to be manipulated by proud prayers.  Faith is both active and submissive.  Sometimes we do need to act in faith to embrace healing, but at other times we need to understand illness and suffering and ask why God has allowed this.



About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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8 Responses to Sick

  1. rookie1987 says:

    Funny what people come up with isn’t it? In a way that would give us control over God and in reality over the world we live in. Sickness and everything about our bodies that is breaking down and getting sick is a consequence of sin. Faith has nothing to do with this. Faith does not take away the consequences of our sin, but it does take away our debt of sin. Two different things but meshed together by many. Nice thought but not quite the same. We all sinned and we all pay the consequences of sin in our fallen world.
    Salt and Light
    PS I am not saying that people are sick because of a sin that they have committed but rather because there is sin in the world is why they are sick.

  2. DuckyCharlie says:

    I love reading your posts. They are quite thought provoking. I wish I could take faith and learning with you, alas Communications majors are not allowed. Thank you for being willing to talk about tough issues. -Katie

  3. I agree with what both of you Salt & Light & Professor Worrell are saying. We live in a messed up world that is fallen due to sin. We pollute the world so much that there is no wonder why people get sick. I have had two times where I have been sick for more than the common cold. One time was for three years and now this time it has been over a year. God helped me to build my body up the first time and fight the disease that was attacking my immune system over three years. I learned so much from being sick then just as I am now. Right now I am dealing with a skin disease that will possibly never go away. It burns/feels on firs, breaks up, and itches. It is so hard to deal with at times but God is giving me the strength, the ability to live with it, and also to learn how to function with it since I do not have full use of my hand anymore. My faith is being built up more and more as I learn to trust in God in times of good and also in times when I am failing and falling. God brings comfort and uses whatever is going on with us to work through us. I have been able to connect with other people who are not able to use their hands completely anymore too in different ways, but they can relate to what I am going through. For one of the first times that I have been here at Moody I feel loved. This person actually takes the time to see how I am doing, she asks questions, and she cares.It’s amazing when I am going through a hard time with my hand, God brings a friend to help make the load lighter, praise God!

  4. I don’t know how to edit on here. Second paragraph of what I wrote above firs is suppose to be fire. My heand feels like it is on fire and is burning at times. Doctors aren’t 100% sure why or how to cure it. Fun, fun! I do trust that God knows what is going on and He is there for me everyday, I am so glad that we have such an awesome God!

  5. Since I have grown up in a church influenced by the “all faith” realm of thinking, I can second that there is most definitely a dual nature to faith, it is both active and submissive. My fear is in most conservative groups I see the desire to be so focused on the submissive part of faith, coupled with wanting to be far removed from the corrupt extreme kind of active faith mentioned above. With this they tend to put themselves at a huge disadvantage by sometimes never even approaching the throne of grace to ask and believe that if it is the Lord’s will, he will heal (or save, or whatever the case may be) any given person. Myself is massively included in that statement. In keeping with a good balance, we should align ourselves with faith, all the while accompanying it with a holy reverence for the will of God. This being said, some of us should do far more seeking of his face while still some should do far more asking.

  6. It saddens me to see how sin brings with it trials that are so hard sometimes.  I sat down with my mother-in-law and read the third chapter of lamentations.  It was comforting for a person who is battling cancer, has lost her hair and has been fainting this past week.  Her husband is struggling in hospital to recover from a broken hip.

  7. transphormed says:

    I love the response of Yumeyackadoodle, “My hand feels like it is on fire… I am so glad that we have such and awesome God!” I always ask why when I suffer illness or pain, and seldom do I get any answer other than, “that I can know God”. I wish I understood pain and comfort better, but it does seem that no matter what is ailing us, the presence of a loving friend is the source of that comfort.In a way, illness is a perfect example to live grace. When we are sick we are deficient and broken, much like the condition of our souls. But when we know God will never leave us, and nothing can separate us from His love, and we see that lived out in the presence of someone who loves us, our sickness seems pithy and meaningless compared to that kind of love.

  8. alexgoreham says:

    This is a fallen world, and the reason that people get sick is because sin entered the world and it is no longer the way that God intended it to be. That why Christ Follower and non-Christ followers get sick. It has not to do with a lack of faith. God gave us medicine, use it. I love medicine. When i feel like crap, i take a few Advil and feel better. When it comes to bigger illnesses, like cancer, i think its different. By this i mean, cancer is in the world for the same reason. God can use cancer trial. He allows it and by his grace he can heal it through. But if he does not “heal” it and the person dies, it does not mean that the person had little faith and it does not diminish the sovereignty of Christ. ALEX GOREHAM

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