A couple of years ago, my husband was very sick for way too long. He gets sick about once every 10 years – maybe. The man is healthy. He’s committed to caring for his health, and don’t even ask me about all the vitamins he takes. The smoothies he drinks? Wow. Taste is secondary to him. If it’s good for him, he likes it. He’s so in tune with his body that he can feel it respond to good things and, yes, to bad. Once I made pesto and it turned out that the walnuts I had used were well past their expiration date. He took one bite, spit it out of his mouth and urgently told our sons, “Don’t eat it! It’ll make you sick!” It’s a family legend now and, no, I couldn’t taste anything wrong with it.
I take vitamins too. The ones he sets out for me every morning in a little ramekin. I am spoiled, I know. But I still complain about taking them because, well, because I hate taking them.
I get sick about once a year. Par for the course, but when John was sick, it threw me. It’s one thing to be ill yourself. It’s quite another when someone you love is suffering. You know. When he finally turned a corner, I thanked God, yet felt suspicious about it and watched him like a hawk. From a pleasant distance.
In my life I’ve watched friends walk alongside their beloveds through serious illnesses. Some they didn’t recover from. I’ve had friends walk through the unexpected death of their children. I’ve walked alongside as friends grieve the pain their children are living in from the bad choices they have made and continue to make. I’ve witnessed profound loss and suffering, and some I have endured myself.
What I am struck by this morning is the faith that I have witnessed. My dear girlfriend who sang a song of steadfast praise at her young son’s memorial service. My other friend who called to tell me that his beloved had passed by saying, “She’s completely healed now.” Another who, with tears streaming down her face, thanked God for all the years she had enjoyed with her husband before he passed over.
And I am aware of my frailty. I was thrown by my husband being temporarily ill, and I am surrounded by kings and queens in the Kingdom whose steadfast faith has upheld them through unimaginable travail. It has upheld you. I don’t know your stories, but I know it has.
God is faithful. That’s where I land today as I am once again encouraged by the Company of Saints. God is true. God is our Hope. I am reminded that God is our anchor. He will uphold us through suffering of all kinds, all durations and all depths. He will reveal himself to us in new ways in it and through it. He is our Help, our Strong Tower. He is always true, always worthy of praise. He is Love, and he is not going anywhere. Look to him today, my friends. Entrust to him all that you care for and all that you are carrying. His shoulders are broad, his character is strong, his heart is steadfast.