We never enjoy illness or affliction. After all, what good could possibly result from our ailments? God would never make us sick for any reason—would He?
The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Affliction is one of the Lord’s most powerful tools for getting our attention when we’re not listening. If a period of illness is what it takes to refocus us on Him, then that’s exactly what He will do.
Think about the apostle Paul. When we hear his name, we recall the Christ-minded missionary who spread the gospel during the first century. But this wasn’t always the case. When we are first introduced to him, he is known as Saul, Christianity’s most vicious enemy (Acts 9:1-2). So how did God get Saul’s attention?
The Acts account explains that the Lord appeared in a brilliant flash of light that only Saul could see. After revealing Himself, Jesus left Saul completely blind. This enemy of the church was now brought low, having to be led into town by hand, completely at the mercy of others.
What went through Saul’s mind during those three days of blindness? No doubt his thoughts were full of one thing: his encounter with Christ. By removing his sight, God took away all distractions during this vital time in the man’s life.
God’s primary goal is our ultimate good, not our comfort or short-term happiness—He wants what is best for us in light of eternity. At times this means He’ll lay us flat on our backs for a season. If you experience such hardship, do pray for healing, but also pray for His message to you in your sickness.
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