When you are ill, for just a few days, or chronically, or terminally ill: the first thing that you may wonder daily---is “how long are we on this Cross for, Lord?” It matters not if it is for a few days, a few weeks, or until death, --or rather it is one you strive to live with for years---slowly but surely---illness is very taxing and a cross to bear.
You strive to offer up the weakness, the tiredness, the struggle to breathe, to keep on doing your work---you strive. With every cough, with every episode of shortness of breath, you strive to think of others worse than you, and give thanks for what is right in your life. With every step you take, no matter how tired you feel, you strive to continue to cook, to clean, to care for your loved ones and smile and maybe hum or sing for this takes your mind off the symptoms. Most importantly, you do the best you can; praying as you go on, remembering the promises in God’s Word, and you think of others first—for this is what Jesus did when He was on the cross.
Sometimes, however, you will snap and get angry, saying things you regret—for a loved one just does not understand what you are dealing with, thinks you should be this awesome person who is able to be perfect ALL THE TIME! (Where did he get that Ideal!) The children when they were around, they were under the impression too –Moms don’t take time off! Inevitably they become whinier as they got confused and fearful when the normal is not normal. Mom doesn’t hug like she used to, or smile and kiss your boo boos away---“why is Mom so gloomy today?” And so you strive to push past the tiredness, the weakness, the weariness and do the best you can to be that Mom, that wife, that lover of animals that you normally are when life is without the virus, the allergies, the bacteria, the inflammation, the aging process, or the disease, the addiction maybe---oh wait----THAT is when you are dead!!!
Ah, that thought immediately brings you off that cross and back to living again. Resurrected by just that thought—you are alive, so, you breathe deeply, say a prayer of thanks and “help me Jesus, help me Jesus,” with full confidence He Will! He has promised it and never ever has His loved failed.
Should your illness be one that is terminal and not a passing or lingering chronic one---then the thought of just being in His Presence or that He’s never leaving your side, forever at your right hand—I hope that brings you peace as it does me. Ever merciful, compassionate, forgiving, He is your strength, your consolation, and He will never forget you, and God will never forget either, those you will have to say “See you in your dreams, and see you later—I will be waiting with Jesus and Mary at my side.”
In all of life there is the perpetual need for letting go, surrendering to the Father’s Will and walking faithfully by His side—confident of His mercy and love. Each cross presented is perfect, created to be not too heavy and just what is needed to bring you to a deeper understanding of the His mysterious ways; and the depth of His love for you.
“How long are we on this cross Lord?”
“Until My Will is done, and My plan is completed that I have in mind for your life. It will help you greatly to just be Still and know—I am here, right beside you, within you, and helping you with this cross. I will never leave you, or forsake you. Child you are mine.”