No one wants to be sick. Whether it is a minor cold with sniffles or the flu with a fever, aches, and pains-every sickness is at best a nuisance, and at worst, something life threatening. But sickness can be more than just a few days of inconvenience. Debilitating diseases such as diabetes mellitus, lupus, and cancers can cause many years of suffering. While some of these diseases may not lead to an immediate death, the quality of life is dramatically diminished for those who are afflicted.
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord:‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live. ’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father:“I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.’ “
2 Kings 20:1-6
Hezekiah was afflicted with a major disease. In fact, God, through the prophet Isaiah, informed Hezekiah that he was soon going to die. But Hezekiah prayed to God and because of his repentant heart and honest prayer, God heard him and answered his prayers by granting him healing and adding an additional 15 years of life!
Hezekiah learned that a sickness can be an opportunity to seek God’s mercy and to discover, for himself, how deep his own faith could be. But what did Hezekiah do with the additional years of life that were granted to him? Several years later, God tested what was truly in Hezekiah’s heart. Had he truly learned humility and the lessons of God’s mercy? Babylonian envoys visited Hezekiah and in an act of pride and foolishness, Hezekiah showed them all the riches of the kingdom. God was testing him.
However, regarding the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, whom they sent to him to inquire about the wonder that was done in the land, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.
2 Chronicles 32:31
Because of his boasting and pride, God told Hezekiah, through Isaiah the prophet, that his future sons and the kingdom of Judah would be taken into captivity. In less than a hundred years later, this prophecy came true.
God does answer all prayers and sometimes He answers prayers the way that we wish. God can use sickness to bring us to our knees in faith. We need to understand that God can give mercy upon whom He choses. But if He does grant us mercy and heal us of our sickness, what will we do with this healing? Will we use our renewed strength to serve Him or will we become arrogant knowing that God answered our prayers exactly the way we wanted? In the case of Hezekiah, his arrogance led to the eventual downfall of his entire kingdom.
When you are sick, pray for God’s mercy to heal you. And if He does, pray that the healing in you will lead to even greater works that He will do through you, for His Kingdom.
Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.