January 20, 2012

Sick Unto Death

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 20, 2012

“For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:27).

Friends and family who suffer from chronic illnesses are candidates for God’s grace, and our love and attention. It is extremely difficult to see a loved one languish through cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Once they smiled with joy, now they ache in pain. Once their body was hefty and healthy, now they are hollow and disfigured. The person we once knew now seems nonexistent.

They may be physically alive, but emotionally and mentally detached. However, it is in their weak condition that you honor them by providing strength. Even if they lived a self-serving life, continue to serve them as a testimony to your siblings, spouse and children, and in obedience to Christ’s command. Service to the sick is an opportunity to be like Jesus, so by God’s grace represent Him well.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36

God may not heal them in this life, but He does provide mercy and grace for comfort and endurance. I do not like the smell of the sick, it makes me nauseous and nervous, but serving the sick is not about my hang-ups. It is about heaven’s help, salvation’s cure and prayer’s path to peace. Inconvenient illness is an opportunity for us to illustrate other centered living.

Be very patient with your spouse who is unable to care for you as well because they are in a season of extreme service to their parent. You can help by seeking out experts in law and finance to assist your dying loved one and help them steward well their departure. Sickness is the Lord’s pause to ponder what’s really important in life. So enjoy any time of interruption to love your loved ones and friends who are sick unto death.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:33-36)
Who is at the point of death that I can support with a card, call, visit or prayer?

Related Readings: Exodus 23:25; Psalm 41:3; Luke 5:15-17; James 5:14-15

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  1. Today’s “Sick Unto Death” was so timely for me. My husband had a stroke and is in a nursing home. So much of him is so unlike he was before this. I am grateful to still have him and I am learning to love him the way he is now instead of grieving for the man he used to be. He will be coming home soon and I have been somewhat anxious, but I am grateful for this timely reminder in today’s devotion.
    Thank you and God bless you.

  2. Kelly says:

    This is timely for me as well. My mother has Alzheimer’s dementia and though my dad is able to care for her at home, I go every Saturday to care for her so he can get a break. I makes me so sad to see her this way..depressed-wanting her mother and wanting to go home; and scared of the men whom she sees that no one else does. I have tried everything but nothing can change her thoughts. So she lives each day in fear and sadness. It breaks my heart. She would love to have visitors, but no one comes. I think they just don’t know what to say. I’ve learned through all this that it doesn’t matter what you say, just being there,listening, and sharing a kind word is all that is necessary.

  3. Teresa Krull says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It was timely for me too. Being the one with a chronic, debilitating illness has taught me many things. My children were in grade school when the symptoms first started to emerge. It took over a decade to get a diagnoses, and it’s been about 10 yrs since that time. My life changed DRAMATICALLY, almost since the beginning. I was an RN for 20 yrs, working ICU, Rehab and Hospice (for the bulk of my career). I lost my health, my job, my credibility and dignity, and very nearly my family. It’s been a long road, but I’ve gained more than I lost-that being a real RELATIONSHIP with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! The ‘dark night of the soul’ we experience is not for naught! had the road been easier, I and my family would not be where we are at today-all saved:), and a 22 y/o daughter studying to become a missionary! Again, thanks for the post. I LOVE Wisdom Hunter’s. Blessings~Teresa Krull

  4. Tina Jenkins says:

    I read the 1-20-12 Wisdom passage with mixed emotions. My mother in law passed away last year after a lengthy and prolonged battle with cancer for two and a half years. Her journey was extremely stressful for the family, esp. my husband who had difficulty coping and became verbally abusive at home among other things. I agree with the paragraph on spouses and patience, but I have come to the conclusion one’s marriage needs to be a priority despite the chronic illness of a family member. I did not have a husband for nearly 3 years….and the hurt has a way of popping up even to this day. I continue to pray for my own heart healing and that of my husband as well.

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