Friday, March 27, 2009

Sickness: Where is God?

I have been sick since Monday. It started with cough, then high fever with sore throat. And when I couldn't take it anymore I went to the local GP for the third time. This time he wrote me a letter to be admitted into the hospital.

So I went to the hospital to have my body checked. After about 5 hours and 3 tests, I'm confirmed to be fine. No dengue nor liver failure nor cancerous lump. I was relieved. But the pain and the trouble in these past few days are demoralizing.

While observing all the sick people at the Accident & Emergency area at Singapore General Hospital, I started asking pui yee a question which I always asked since I was a child, before I became a Christian: Why is it so suffering to be human?

She didn't say anything. Perhaps she knows that it is useless for her to say anything not because she doesn't have the answer, but I won't accept it even though it is true. I was sick and in my agony, it is hard for me to rationalize an answer. Not because I can't rationalize but because rationality is not going to bring relief or improve my condition.

Does the cries of my body means anything? My suffering in a way has spread to other people, making them worry and concern over me? Pui Yee was exhausted seeing and taking care of me through these painful moments. Does all these thing have a purpose? Where is God when his people weep? Where is Jesus when we weep?

While searching for answer with nausea and coughing out pleghm at the same time was an experience. All I find comfort in are through the goodness that have been showered on me. Through these few days of rush hours, Pui Yee discovered the stronger side of herself. She has been running around to get things done for me, to ensure I have the best condition to recover. And it was through this that I found out that she cooks tasty noodle soup. Taste a bit like Thai-style soup and ABC soup combined. I love Tom-Yam and ABC soup. So it was quite a discovery for me actually.

Besides that my landlord has been very kind. She has been boiling barley water for me these two days. She even offered to cook soup and meal for me. My friends have been sending well wishes through Facebook, SMS, Google talk, and phone call.

So back to the question, where is Jesus when we weep?

He was at Bethany weeping together with those who weep (John 11.35). The death of his good friend Lazarus can be prevented and cries can be avoided if Jesus was there earlier to heal him. Yet he delayed his trip.

Upon arriving at the tomb and seeing all those who were there, Jesus with his face still flowing with tears asked, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

And he prayed, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

Through my sickness, God's glory manifested in those people around me, through the goodness they poured onto me. Zhen Hao remarked that perhaps this crisis is a blessing in disguise. He is right. It's an event where the goodness of God is shown through the goodness of the people even if it is in the midst of suffering. Not only that, Jesus is together with those who weep, as in Bethany, weeping together.

5 comments:

Kar Yong said...

Sorry to hear you are so sick. Pray you get well soon.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

Thank you for the prayer. I got better now. Still resting at home. :)

Tony Siew said...

Hi Joshua,

Do get well soon! Everytime I got sick, I realized maybe when I was well I have not given thanks to God and took things for granted. Like Jesus of Hebrews (5:7), perhaps sickness is a kind of suffering we go through so that we may learn obedience. Further, when I became sick, I realized that this body is a mortal body and subject to decay and this realization helps me to see beyond my sufferings and hope for the day that we are clothed with a new and glorious body where there will be no more pain or sickness.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Tony,

Thank you for the well wishes and sharing. I especially look forward to the new and glorious body these few days.

davinci said...

Hi szezeng,

Why are you sick? because you are mortal.

why are you mortal?because God created you so..

why created mortal? because God predestined so...

why God predestined so? because by then, God has the opportunity to bestow grace and salvation to you..

why God want to bestow grace and salvation to you? because God wants to receive the glory that He deserves..


---Supra-lapsarianism by Theodore Beza

But I wish you well soon, and by going through pain of sickness, you would become much subtle, profound thinker...

--- Subjective truth by Soren Kierkegaard