5 Things To Do When a Friend is Sick
Most likely sometime this year you or someone you love may encounter sickness. No matter how healthy you eat or the amount of time you spend exercising, at some point your body will fight off the common cold or worse, the dreaded flu. Everyone hates having to slow down our schedule while our body fights off the annoying germs.
Even when we face a temporary illness, a week to 10 days of uncomfortable wheezing, fever, and sleepless nights drives us all crazy. Not to mention the cost of doctors’s visits, prescriptions, and physical therapy makes it difficult to arrive to work on time. Sick time becomes necessary and co-workers schedules may be affected which causes even more stress.
Sickness itself may cause anger, discouragement, and loneliness to take hold in our mind. We may be angry at our poor choices, discouraged that we aren’t healing quickly, or lonely due to a hospital stay. When we are sick we may lash out at our loved ones and be more likely to think about unhealthy topics. If we are not careful, hopelessness and bitterness may take root in our souls. We may feel helpless and life may seem out of control.
There are may people in the bible who also suffered from sickness. Miriam suffered from leprosy for seven days (Numbers 12: 10 – 13 BSB) while Naaman may have suffered from it even longer. However, both were healed. Job suffered and was restored to health too. However Lazarus died but was later brought back to life by Jesus (John 11:43 BSB).
Jesus cared for many people suffering from blindness, withered limbs, and fevers. He even healed people on the Sabbath. By his example, he showed Christians that we have a responsibility to care for our sick loved ones.
Almost as soon as the physician utters the diagnosis, the next question is , “Why did this happen?”
We want to know how we can prevent sickness, but not all sickness can be prevented.
Sometimes people jump to the conclusion that God must be punishing them for their sin. However sickness does not always result from sin. Jesus shows us this in John 9 when he explained that it wasn’t the sin of the parents or the blind man that caused the blindness. He explained that this occurred so that God’s work could be displayed in the blind man’s life. God wants to display his power in your life too.
Sickness is the part of life that we would rather avoid, but there is no avoiding it. Even the amount of faith you have does not protect you from future illness.
When we are sick we cling to the hope that Jesus will heal us or our loved one like he healed the woman who touched his cloak. She believed Jesus could heal her and she was healed (Mark 5:30). But there are other times in the bible when a healing occurred when someone else had faith like the Centurion (Luke 7:6) who asked Jesus to heal his servant. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus healed the soldier’s ear. Obviously the soldier didn’t believe in Jesus ability to heal him, but his ear was healed nonetheless (Luke 22:51).
However, sometimes great faith doesn’t result in healing. Paul was a man of great faith and had already experienced Jesus’ ability to heal him from blindness. But he suffered from a “thorn” in his flesh, and even after pleading to God about it… God revealed to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12 : 9)
You don’t have to suffer for very long to realize that being sick humbles us. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to rely on complete strangers to help us with basic life functions like going to the bathroom. Sickness tests our faith. It can refine it, burning off all our doubts and fears through the recovery process.
Sickness also teaches us to be patient as Christ restores our body, slowly gaining strength little by little, day by day. Illness teaches us perseverance, to continue to rely on His strength to make it through each day. But most importantly, sickness teaches us to have compassion for other people who also suffer.
During illness, it may be helpful to remember that your sickness may be temporary. But even a temporary loss of our strength, our mental abilities, or speech can send a person questioning whether this may be forever.
Did you know an estimated 50 million of U.S. adults suffer from chronic pain? This may be from back injuries, arthritis, or migraines. Many people deal with this on a daily basis while they attempt to carry out their normal job responsibilities.
So what can our loved ones do?
It is not always pleasant to see our loved ones in pain and we may tend to avoid visiting. However our sick loved ones still need respect and dignity from people they care about. Dignity may be difficult to achieve especially if you are the one wearing a flimsy hospital gown that won’t stay closed no matter what type of knot you tie.
However, these five tips may help your visit to a loved one be a little more comfortable for both you and them:
- Avoid being overly sad, but instead remain cheerful. Your loved one needs encouragement, they shouldn’t be the one to comfort you. Allow the person you are visiting to determine whether to give you a hug, kiss, or handshake.
- Give your friend time to talk and listen carefully. This provides comfort.
- Don’t ask them if they want prayer, but rather suggest that you would like to pray for them. If you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for them in person, keep it short!
- Leave an encouraging bible verse, card, or devotional with them to read when they are feeling up to it.
- Don’t promise God will heal them. But rather direct them to seek God and leave the rest up to him!
May I pray for you?
May your path intertwine with Jesus.
He leads out of darkness.
He teaches you to sing in The Father’s presence.
May a joyful melody lift your spirit.
Jesus speaks life into your mind.
May he light your path.
All you need to do is follow Jesus’ footsteps.
Run into his loving arms.
May the Lord restore your hope,
and repair all your hurts.
May Jesus shine brightly in your thoughts and emotions.
Fill your soul and spirit with healing.
May you praise Lord Jesus
and Peace fill your heart.
In Jesus Name, we pray Amen.
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I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Married to a firefighter, a Mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. I’m a Instructional Designer.My background is teaching Elementary school so I’m a Thinking Math Enthusiast, a Write from the Beginning Believer, and Technology junkie.