“My sins have caught up with me, and I can no longer see”.
Ps 40:12 GNB
Illness and physical deterioration are some of the hardest difficulties to cope with in life. In particular to lose our faculties on a permanent basis – at whatever age – is always experienced as a disaster. We feel that all the ageing milestones come about twenty-five years before they have any right to!
In ancient Israel there were no optometrists to measure your sight when it began to deteriorate, and no one to supply you with spectacles. The author of Psalm 40 had another way of thinking about his loss of sight. He believed it was God’s punishment for all his sins. Whether his eyesight loss was caused by the advancing years, or was a sudden blindness caused by some disease or accident, we don’t know. It is probable that it was part of the aging process and could have been the onset of cataract problems. Whatever the physical origin was, the lack of eyesight drove the man to turn to God in order to find hope and comfort in him. Whilst his theology of the connection between suffering and sin was wrong, the faith that prompted him to look to God for hope was spot on.
Whatever adverse event hits you, do what this psalmist did and “take it to the Lord in prayer”. Whilst many of the physical ailments can now be treated by medical science, you still need God to help you, to strengthen you, to empower you, and to enable you to cope with all the unpleasant side-effects of illness. And Jesus is still the divine physician who can bring you grace and courage to face whatever difficulty life may be throwing at you.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, thank you for all your help in my difficulties.