Today I managed to get out of bed and feel like I am on my way back to feeling well again. During my down days I could bring myself to the computer, but I just couldn't write. No energy. And this was simply a nasty cold or perhaps a touch of the flu, not cancer or depression, a chronic disease or alzheimers. On my bed of affliction I thought of the words of theologian Karl Barth, which I read recently at Ben Myers blog:
“Sickness, like death itself, is unnatural and disorderly. It is an element in the rebellion of chaos against God’s creation. It is an act and declaration of the devil and demons. To be sure, it is no less bound to God and dependent on Him than the creature which He created. Indeed, it is impotent in a double way. For like sin and death, it is neither good nor is it willed and created by God at all, but is real, effective, powerful and menacing only in its nullity, as part of that which God has negated, as part of His kingdom on the left hand.…"
“The realm of death which afflicts man in the form of sickness … is opposed to His good will as Creator and has existence and power only under His mighty No. To capitulate before it, to allow it to take its course, can never be obedience but only disobedience towards God. In harmony with the will of God, what humans ought to will in face of this whole realm on the left hand, and therefore in face of sickness, can only be final resistance.… Those who take up this struggle obediently are already healthy in the fact that they do so, and theirs is no empty desire when they will to maintain or regain their health (Church Dogmatics III, pg. 366-69, "Freedom for Life")."
So for all who are sick, and particularly for those with an illness more severe than what I, by God's grace, beat this week: we are praying for you. Your illness is not God willed nor created by God, but He can defeat your illness. Take rest. Let God wage His battle. I'll talk to you next week.