Lately, I have been reflecting on the Scripture, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) I’ve been thinking about all the ways this is true and so important for people with chronic illness.
I don’t know about you, but when I was first diagnosed with my diseases, I was very keen to listen to the doctors and do what they felt was best for me. I also wanted to press into God and let Him walk the journey with me. Also, I wanted those closest to me to understand my disease and how I was feeling, but I just wasn’t ready to open myself up to a lot of others and their experiences.
Over time this has changed.
I gradually found myself scouring the internet for organizations that provide accurate information about my diseases.
I began to relate to (and see the humor) in quips like, “I’m a person who wants to do a lot of things… trapped in a body that doesn’t!” or “I’m just going to put an ‘out of order’ sticker on my head and call it a day!” That’s exactly how I feel some days.
I craved support and searched out Christian networks that could help point me to Christ amid everything – and I found Chronic Joy. What a blessing! As I’ve read about what others are experiencing, I have felt less alone in what can truly be a lonely time. This in turn has given me hope and has pressed me further into a relationship with others on a similar journey.
SHARPER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL TOGETHER
I even had the courage to write a book of devotionals and have had people say, “It’s like you wrote this just for me!” Out of this vulnerability, a weekly care group has started where we can talk, pray, and encourage one another.
Through all of this, I have found people sharpening one other in beautiful ways:
- People who have never met beyond the keystrokes of an email or a text are caring for one another.
- People who are hundreds of miles away from each other are connecting on Zoom calls.
- People are learning from those who have been walking this path for decades.
- People have come to see and respect each other as beautiful reflections of God.
We were never meant to journey this path alone! Yes, journeying with God is vital but, in His wisdom, He has placed fellow sojourners on our paths to sharpen us – and in turn, we sharpen others. In our shared experiences there is a profound sense of community. When we point one another to Christ during our struggles, we can grow stronger, sharper, more beautiful. The journey is richer.
Thank you that you don’t ask us to walk alone. First and foremost, You are there in every moment of our days – and You have given us each other, whether through the words of someone we’ve never met or through the company of someone we can see face to face. Thank you for the people You place in our lives. Help us to sharpen one another. Continue to guide us on our journey together. May we become a more beautiful reflection of You.
In Jesus’ Name,
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
What about you?
- Are you trying to walk alone or are you allowing God to bring people into your life to walk alongside you?
- What is one specific thing that someone else has done to encourage you?
- What is something you have done, or can do, to encourage someone else?
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer and Prayer Team
Kara, her husband Conrad, and their crazy calico cat, Lulu, live in Calgary, Canada, where she has been a teacher for 28 years. Kara felt led to write a book of devotionals when her journey with chronic illnesses pressed her into God’s arms of love more deeply. She prays that her journey and refinement will also encourage you in your walk with God.
Learn more about her book, Searching for Sea Glass: Journeying with God Through Chronic Illness - 30 Devotionals today!
Ask Generous Questions
Lean into the living presence of Jesus and cultivate a deeper relationship with one another. When we slow down and really listen to each other, we grow together as the Body of Christ on earth.
Creative Ways to Connect
Looking for creative ways to connect with others as you unpack the Chronic Joy studies? This FREE printable does just that and more!