In Sickness and In Health

In the last three days, everywhere I have gone I have encountered sick people. Either the whole world is struggling with allergies, sinus infections, and colds, or I have just been a magnet for the people who are. At the register we have united with our jugs of orange juice and cold medicine and horror stories. One cashier even burst out laughing when I suggested she try gummy bears as a remedy for her cold. “I hope it works for you,” she called after me as I stumbled off in my semi-fevered fog. “Me too,” I whispered to myself. After all, gummy bears do have magical powers… well, at least they make me happy.

So, today I am feeling better and it’s time to take stock of the damage that a cold infested house has wreaked upon our finances. Sickness is just a black hole when it comes to your finances. Whatever cold remedy, cough drop, magic vitamin pill you can buy… you will. All you want in life is for your nose to stop running, your head to quit hurting, and just to sleep until it is over. And that is the true reason why a box of phlegm expectorant that everyone in the check out line told you to buy costs $11.00. No one in their right mind would spend $11 on phlegm, but you aren’t in your right mind. You are in your fuzzy, sinus pressure, unable to reason mind, and at this point $11 sounds like a bargain.

Anyway, so my blog today is budgeting for sickness. I know that no one wants to plan for sickness when they are healthy. We all believe for health, and I am absolutely resolute that God is my healer. I joke about sickness, but I know that it is just stealing life from me and isn’t God’s plan for me at all. But I also believe that every good thing comes from the Lord. And sometimes that good thing comes in the form of doctors and medicine. He is the one who gives all wisdom to men. I think He authored medicine. I think the key is to know what God is saying about your sickness. No sickness comes from God. Jesus took all sickness to the cross. Why would he inflict something on you that He died to free you from? Sickness is never from God.

But if in your sickness, God leads you to see a doctor, then absolutely go because it is His path to healing for you. God will use whatever means He needs to, to help you and to bring healing to you. I have to admit though, it is really hard to hear the Lord when you are sick. You just want to be better, and this is where you really need a network of friends and family who will pray for you and stand and believe with you for healing. Sometimes for me it has been my husband saying, “I really think that you need to see a doctor.” And every time, I have been so glad that I listened to him.

Doctors are not my first response, and I am so glad of that. In my family, the first response has always been to go to our heavenly Father. He is so wise and ultimately all healing (whether instantaneous or gradual) comes from Him. Sometimes He will lead you to doctors, or even other treatments, and sometimes you will just have a peace to wait and see His dramatic healing in your body. I have experienced both, and there really is no formula for it, except to just know that whichever path He leads you down, His heart for you is always total wholeness in your body.

And on the financial side, I am always amazed at how merciful God is with that as well. The enemy’s plan is always to steal, kill, and destroy. And sickness is one horrible tool that He uses to steal from us. However, having an emergency savings plan is such a God breathed idea in these moments. It still irks me to spend money on illness, but in the same breath I am so thankful for God’s provision so that we don’t go into debt over sickness. We save in times of plenty, so that no matter what comes, there is more than enough.

However, sometimes, the times of sickness can outlast what you have set aside. And I can only think that this is what relationship in the body of Christ is all about. The problem is how isolated and proud we are. We need each other. We need the body of Christ, and just as you pamper a finger when you cut it… when you are hurt, God has put you in a family to respond to that need. Now, I am not talking socialism, but I am talking the heart of Jesus in responding to the needs that we see around us.

I experienced that heart this week in precious friends and family bringing us food in the middle of our sickness. I am so thankful that we are not in isolation. I am so thankful for the people that God has placed around me. You may feel alone, and nothing is so miserably lonely as sickness, but you are never alone. God did not bring sickness, but He does have good things for you in the midst of it and on the way out of it.

So having a budget for sickness? I wish there were never a need for it, and one day there won’t be. But in the meantime, have an emergency fund. Most financial experts recommend 3-6 months of salary. I think it is a great idea. And also, when you are sick, let the church be the church… call a friend for help, or for prayer. God has good things for you, in sickness and in health. But my prayer for you, and God’s heart for you is always health. As John the apostle wrote in 3 John vs. 2
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in HEALTH, just as your soul prospers.”

So today, may you walk in health. May you prosper in all things, and may The Healer lead you and bring healing to your quickly to your home and to mine.