Three years ago on Easter Sunday 2017, I was so sick that I could not get out of bed. The day before I was in full health; on Easter Sunday morning, I was hardly able to move. I can only recall two other times in my entire life being so sick.
More recently, due to a herniated disc, I have been on my back more in the last few weeks than I have ever been.
Both sickness and injury have reminded me of how fragile life is.
When you’re (relatively) young and healthy, you tend to forget how fragile life is. You take life for granted. It’s easy to do. But what has struck me in both sickness and injury is how fast life can turn. One day you can be well and the next day in immense pain and discomfort. It sounds cliché to say: don’t take life for granted. But it’s true. Life is fragile. It’s at times of sickness and injury that our mortality hits home.
But we have a hard time when it hits home. In our natural human condition, we think that we have the power of life, sickness, and death. Technological advancements bring an illusion that life can be managed and planned down to the seconds of the day. Developments of new and powerful life-saving medications give hope that disease can be beaten. While I am thankful to God to be living in this age of great human advancement, I am reminded, in a very personal way, that ultimately God oversees life and death.
I have been reminded of Paul’s words in Acts: God “gives to all people life and breath and all things” (17:25). God is the one who is in control of life and death no matter how strong or fragile life might seem. And knowing this helps me in sickness and injury. As an old catechism beautifully states: God “preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yes, all things must be subservient to my salvation.” God’s good and wise sovereignty over all things is the silver lining I have been clinging to with my fragile life.