One of the things I have repetitively wrestled with over the past 10 years is how to view sin. For one, Jesus viewed sin as a sickness to be healed. I personally like this view because it takes out some of the guilt and shame over our sins. It also helps me to have more grace against those who have sinned against me. We should not tolerate sin in our lives or others but we should have grace for it. For in my experience not many people sin out of pure evil, malicious intent. Rather many sin out of ignorance with blindness to their ways. As someone with medical training I have seen the importance of both physical and spiritual healing. For Jesus did both when he healed someone. For the 2 often are intermingled and our modern world likes to keep them separate. They often cannot be separated.
Furthermore I suffer from a debilitating mental illness that can easily lead to sin. My illness does not justify my sin but it does help explain it. What I have felt God has spoken to me is that, yes my mental illness predisposes me to sin but the true sin would be to refuse treatment. For God has given us mental health services in our modern world. I am grateful I was born in this time and not 100 years ago. For without modern medicine I would not be who I am today without a supernatural miracle.
Jesus performed miracles in his time on earth and he can still perform miracles today through his followers. But sometimes God chooses to leave our illness in order to show his power and majesty in a different way. Years ago before I was diagnosed and received treatment I wrestled with God on how to move forward with this “throne in my side.” I felt like God told me that this is your cross to bare because I am choosing to leave you sick. For my strength will be seen through your weakness. My response to God was how do I bare it and his answer was medical care. So I bare my cross daily in the form of medications so that I can walk forward toward his will for my life. For my medications are a crutch to inable me to walk again but the thorn is still present.
“I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations.Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:5-10
So to all those with their own thorn, may you ask for a heart of acceptance and realize God’s grace is more than sufficient. And to all, my we have grace for each other because everyone has a thorn, some are just more visible than others.