Disclaimer: I'm not going to answer the question above, primarily because no one can. And secondarily, in trying to, I may actually harm you more than my attempt at an explanation would help you. So I'm not even going to try.
Almost two years I addressed this with a personal story. Since then I have moved back home to the United States and I am now in medical school. I am returning to the scene of the crime as it were, and looking afresh at my article. What I did then, was to share something personal. Then and now, in so doing, I hope to help you find some strength for your journey through lessons I learned in mine.
At that time I had been dealing with a health problem. Minor in comparison to what many others are dealing with, I'm sure, but enough to affect my daily life and on many occasion cause me to cry out to God, "Why?!? Why is this happening to me? Why is my body betraying me like this? Make it stop!!!"
Not coincidentally, my health problem began about 3 months after I grew to love, and walk more faithfully with, God than ever before. In my finite human understanding, all I could see was that when I started giving God more, He took away more – much more than I felt I had bargained for.
So here I was: sick, frustrated, and confused. Every day became a struggle in a whole new way, and things I had always taken for granted began to disappear left and right. I felt like I had nothing to hold onto except for God, and most of the time I didn't even want to hold on to Him – because what good was that doing?
I would stare at myself in the mirror and think, "How can I make this end?" People I let into my struggle would praise me for my faithfulness in sticking around and walking this out with God, rather than without him, when in reality it was more like "where else can I even go?" I was discouraged, weak, and broken-hearted.
So, what helped? What was the point? What did I learn? Ultimately, why am I telling you this? Well, as I said before, I find that hearing another person's experience can enable me find the strength to make it through my own, so I'm trying to do that for you.
What follows are four pieces of wisdom or advice that I have picked up along the journey. My prayer is that they would help you in the space between sickness and healing; the struggle between trial and deliverance.
Also, it can help to share with somebody – or in this case a lot of somebodies on the internet. Which leads me to point number one...
1. Please share with people around you.
Don't make this any harder for yourself than it already is. Ask for prayer. Tell your friends and family what's going on with you. Don't be afraid of annoying them by talking too much, because that is what they are there for. You probably are annoying them, but it's okay because at some point they're going to need you to listen to and pray for them too.
2. Stop trying to understand everything that's happening to you.
During this season, the verse "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"(Proverbs 3 verse 5 NIV) took on a whole new meaning for me. I am very analytical by nature, so if I don't understand something that is happening to me, I churn it around in my mind until I do. In this case, that wasn't really an option because sometimes there is no satisfactory explanation. When understanding was no longer an option, all that was left was trust.
3. Know that God is faithful, even if He does do things on His own schedule
A mentor of mine once asked me the helpful question, "Has God ever not been faithful to you?" This question continues to put things in perspective for me, especially when God is taking longer than I would like.
4. Try to eliminate all the natural causes of your sickness
This means not being ultra-spiritual and not going to see a doctor. Yes, God is your healer. No, He doesn't always do it in the ways you would expect. See a physician; Sometimes the cure you're looking for is as simple as change to your daily routine. Wisdom means not assuming you know what is best for you and refusing medical care.
God put doctors on this planet too, you know.
Now that I'm at medical school two things are becoming clearer to me. Medicine is there to help. Don't ignore such physical wisdom. There is a wealth of other wisdom available to us – Christian friends, wise counselling, loving parents, your (Pastor, Minister, Priest) and most important, the Holy Spirit bringing the Scriptures afresh into our hearts and minds.
Tina Hakimi is an Arizona-raised, Sydney-based writer working to complete her doctorate in Vision Science at the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about the Word of God, scientific research, and how the two serve to strengthen and affirm one another.
Tina Hakimi's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tina-hakimi.html