Feeling like Job?

Job 27: 2-3

As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made

my life bitter, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils,

my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.

When you have chronic illnesses, it’s easy to think that God’s abandoned you or that he doesn’t love you or that he’s punishing you. Sometimes, it seems like the suffering’s never going to end and it just gets worse and worse—no matter how much you pray.

I know the feeling!

I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in 2012. They were benign meaning not cancerous. On the other hand they weren’t benign, meaning harmless. They’ve wreaked havoc on my health and my life.

And just when you get comfortable and think things are fairly good, life happens. Again!

Job lost everything. His wealth. His family. His health. His friends. And yet he stayed committed to God. As the verses above show, he committed to not speaking evil of God no matter how bad his life got.

And he remained faithful to that commitment and to God. He did plenty of questioning and whining, but still loved God through it all.

From 2016 to 2021, my brain tumors were stable—meaning no growth and no treatment. During that respite, I got stronger and healthier. Then in 2021, after seeing growth my neurosurgeon felt it was time to go back on the treatment.

And so I did.

November 2021 was my one-year anniversary of being on the treatment once again. That one-year mark seemed to explode my side effects. So fast forward a few months and I’m in lots of pain and walking is getting harder and harder.

Now, I’m facing the decision to continue treatment and keep the tumors stable or stop the treatment and risk them growing again—and losing what little hearing I have left. It’s a tough decision: but like Job, I refuse to blame God. Unlike Job, I also refuse to question it or whine and complain about it. I’m not saying that’s wrong, it’s just something I committed to early on in this brain tumor journey.

Instead, I ask for peace and joy and the ability to endure it with graciousness. I do ask for healing because James 4:2 tells us we have not because we ask not so I keep on praying for the healing.

It’s not easy to have chronic illnesses or chronic pain: but with God, we can still find ways to honor God, just as Job did.

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