Trouble often comes to us in the form of sickness. One such incident is recorded in Isaiah 38:1-6. While his country was at war with Assyria, Hezekiah, the king of Israel, became seriously ill, and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’” Whether that message comes to us through a prophet or a doctor, it hits hard, sending us reeling.
What will we do? Most believers will turn to God and pray. An old adage says there are no atheists in a foxhole, and I believe it. Atheists are people without invisible means of support. We can be thankful as Christians that we have such means. God loves us and will support us.
God doesn’t promise us that we will not have to suffer tragedy, illness, and even death. But he does promise us that he will be with us through it all. The Psalmist said it well, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me . . .” (Psalms 23.4). God answers prayer, not always in the way we want, but always in the way that is best.
Hezekiah wept bitterly, turned his face to the wall, and prayed. God heard his prayer, and told Isiah to go tell him, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says. ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city’” (Isaiah 38:4-6).
When illness overtakes us, let us lean on the everlasting arms, and let us remember what God has done for others, he will do for us.
Robert Wilkerson, DMin, is a writer, minister, and public speaker. He is president of People for the Christian Way. firstname.lastname@example.org.