Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Monday May 20, 2019

Theme: MANAGING CHRONIC ILLNESSES

Text: “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?”  – Jeremiah 20:14,18

Comment:  A common reaction by people faced with serious illness is that they generally ask the question ‘Why me of all people?”, Why right now?” The anger arising from being diagnosed as having an illness such as cancer can hide other feelings such as fear or sadness,  self-blame, the need to blame others for what happened; overwhelming stress, long-standing anger and resentment, a fear of planning ahead, etc. Since doctors rarely know exactly what is cause of an individual’s cancer, there is no reason for one to blame oneself  unless there are spiritual issues one knows of for which one feels implicated.  (Compare Lamentations 3:39, 40)  In such cases one should take the appropriate steps to get forgiveness from God.

Some patients direct their anger at the people who are closest to them and at the doctors and nurses who are caring for them. Some others become angry with God for allowing them to fall into this crisis.  It is understandable that one could be deeply upset because of a chronic illness but the patient must avoid doing anything that will make him or her to lose the mercy of God.  We should realize that God always has good mind for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is the devil that is the source of our troubles.  (John 8:44) In the words of St. Peter our “adversary the devil walketh about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. (1 Peter 5:8). And so the sensible thing to do is to turn to God more and more  – Psalm 55:22.