If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you. Exodus 15:26
Have you ever known someone who was huge into health that ended up getting a really terrible disease or dying suddenly? and you think, “Well if they aren’t healthy, who can be?”
Or maybe you have strived to follow good health practices and still have things pop up like thyroid problems, weight issues, or just don’t feel right.
But that doesn’t make sense does it? If we follow the principles of health as laid out from the beginning of time, from Creation, how is it that God’s promise made to the Israelites all those years ago doesn’t carry over to us?
And people judge …
Maybe she’s not as healthy as I thought. And why bother following all these health rules?
Obviously what she was doing didn’t help her stay healthy.
Or maybe she isn’t as health-consious as it appears.
I bet she has an eating disorder. If she’d just eat normally, she’d be fine.
Back in Jesus’ time when someone was ill or disabled, people wondered what sin they had committed that brought the illness upon them.
And although that seems so harsh and archaic, times have not really changed, have they? But there is some truth to this theory, which brings us to …
Biblical Reason #1 for illness: The sick person’s sin
Let’s be honest, Sin brings illness.
For the wages of sin is death … Romans 6:23
It seems so judgmental to say that someone’s sin, be it spiritual or physical, brought on their illness. On the other hand it’s easy to see the correlation between smoking and lung disease, eating unhealthfully and weight gain, drinking alcohol and liver disease.
But what about those who are doing their best to follow good health practices and still get sick?
That brings us to the next reasons for illness.
Biblical Reason #2 for illness: The sins of the person’s parents/ancestors
The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. Numbers 14:18
So genetics plays a role as well. If our parents weren’t following good health practices, that may be something we have to deal with too. Or perhaps they were living in a poor environment which left little choice as to their health (more on this in the next point).
Thankfully, even though that may be something we have to be aware of and have to deal with, we can still live healthy lives in spite of the sins of our parents.
Genetics tell the story of our history. But they don’t have to determine our future.
Biblical Reason #3 for illness: Sins of the world
We can’t escape sin and its influences while living on this earth. The environment is full of toxins and is just growing worse with time. Our family recently has been dealing with illness brought on by heavy exposure to a mold environment. Something talked about in the Bible also (Leviticus 13).
Not to mention diseases carried by insects and other critters.Venomous snakes, poison ivy, spiders, poisonous plants.
Accidents could fit in this category also.
And what about weather? Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, tsunamis.
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:22
The world waxes old like a garment … Isaiah 51:6
We are not immune.
Because we live in a sinful world.
Biblical Reason #4 for illness: For the glory of God
What if we can’t pinpoint any of these other reasons for our illness and still get sick?
Consider Job. God’s Job. The man whom God allowed to become ill (and then some) to show his faithfulness. To God’s glory.
From what the Bible account reveals, there doesn’t seem to be any other reason for Job’s suffering other than to glorify God.
And God sure did show His glory once Job made it through the suffering. Showering Job with an abundance greater than he’d had before. Job 42:12
And even IF we can’t claim to be as perfect as Job, and we can see that there are areas we can improve upon and have the odds stacked against us, our suffering can ALWAYS be to God’s glory.
I’ve been very health-consious for much of my life. I really enjoy learning about health and putting it into practice in myself.
But over the past few years I’ve felt myself growing weaker and weaker and didn’t know why.
I kept trying to tighten up my health practices – getting exercise, eating well, being outside a lot, etc. But it was like a roller coaster. I’d feel good for a bit, then drop low. Up and down. Over and over.
Finally, I got some bloodwork and found out my thyroid wasn’t functioning quite right. The suggestions they made had to do with diet, exercise, etc. Things I was already doing.
And then things got worse. Much worse. My whole body seemed to be going awry. Most systems were affected. It was as if everything was out of control.
Long story short, unbeknownst to us, we had been living in a moldy home for 6+ years (me for most of my life). Mold hidden in air conditioning ducts, basements, and other water damaged areas.
On top of that, I tested positive for Lyme disease. So even though I’d been following the nature’s health laws, I had been exposed to toxins that taxed my immune system for a long time.
And my genetics predisposed me to be not as readily able to rid my body of mold or Lyme toxins. Allowing them to build up inside of me.
All that to say, I understand.
I know what it’s like to feel judged. To feel like a hypocrite because you should know what to do to be healthy, but you’re sick.
To keep trying things to see if it helps. But it doesn’t. And then you go down even farther than you thought possible.
To second guess yourself and have to go through all you’ve learned over again to make sure you didn’t misinterpret what you thought God was saying.
To search your heart over and over to see if there’s something you’ve missed. Some hidden sin.
And to get to the place where you just have to leave it to the Lord, come what may.
But come what may is to God’s glory. It’s in His hands. So whether you’ve “done everything right” or not, you can dedicate your suffering to God.
And get ready to be amazed. Not in your timing, but His.
That is where true healing comes. God’s way.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17
What about you? Have you ever gotten sick when you’ve done everything right?