Can I be a missionary if my family member is sick?

You have a family member who is sick. It’s a chronic illness, but you feel called to be a missionary overseas.

Such a calling is a blessing, but it raises a problem.

I’ve been gone a while, and in the next few months I would love to do a few blog posts on what my life looks like after my mum’s diagnosis, and what God’s teaching me. For now though:

Is it right to leave your chronically ill family member behind?

Or are you bound to your home country to serve them as long as they live?

These are hard questions.  There are 4 areas we need to examine before we can make a decision:

1. Examine your ‘calling’ to be a missionary

Why do you want to go? It’s easy to be filled with a desire and hide behind the phrase ‘God is calling me’ – but are you sure He is?

Excitement?

Do you want to go overseas because it sounds more exciting than caring for your Loved One? Perhaps it seems like an escape or even a retreat!

Continue reading “Can I be a missionary if my family member is sick?”

Prayer, Chronic Illness and Healing (Part 2)

The Bible has some pretty in-your-face things to say about prayer and healing. Jesus, as He walked on this earth prayed some big prayers.
But where do these truths fit in my life when my loved ones are not healed however much I pray?

Prayer, Healing and Chronic Illness (Part 2)

I’m continuing my mission to make the resources on this website easier to find – so here is my second ’round up’ of prayer related posts. The first post included the articles:

{POST 1}

Prayer + Chronic Illness = ? (or why we need to make up our minds about prayer)

we need to make up our minds about prayer www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

and

{POST 2}

Why you should pray for healing in Chronic Illness (and 3 reasons why it is so hard)

why we have to pray for healing www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

Prayer and Chronic Illness (Part 2):

{POST 3}

Why praying for healing is tricky (a look at those troublesome Bible passages I used to hate)

As I watch people in my life suffer yet cling to the knowledge that I serve a good God, I have struggled with the Bible’s teachings on prayer. I used to read the verses which seemed to promise immediate physical healing with great cynicism.

At last I decided it was time for me to look into them properly, and I was somewhat surprised at what I discovered when I left my pride and preconceived ideas at the door.

why i find it hard to pray for healing www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

{POST 4}

How to pray for healing from Chronic Illnesses (Jesus prayed, I prayed, and neither of us were answered!)

It’s all very well for me to know that I OUGHT to pray – but how do I really go about praying for someone with an ‘incurable’ disease? I decided to look at the sort of prayers Jesus prayed – and also whether or not they were answered..

I have prayed for my mum_s healing for over fifteen years. Other people prayed long before I came around... www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pai

 

// What sort of struggles have you had with the idea of prayer? I’d love to hear about them!

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Prayer, chronic illness & healing (Part 1)

Prayer. Healing. Chronic Illness.
These are tricky topics, and ones I’ve struggled with quite a bit. In these two posts you will find my thoughts… and why prayer has often seemed like a simple ‘wish’ when really it’s more like a magic wand.

Prayer, chronic illness & healing

{POST 1}

Prayer + Chronic illness = ? (Or, why we need to make up our minds about prayer)

When I was little I used to search the chip packet for wish chips.

Chips in general were rare, and those double folded chips were even rarer. When you ate them you were meant to make a wish. Like wish bones in chickens and blowing out birthday candles.

Every time I crunched a wish chip, I wished for the same thing… read more

we need to make up our minds about prayer www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

{POST 2}

Why we should pray for healing in chronic illness (and 3 reasons it is so hard)

If a wizard doesn’t have a wand, we begin to doubt whether he truly is a wizard. If he has one, and doesn’t use it… well that’s just silly! … 
Often my prayers for my Mum’s healing seem repetitive.

They exhaust me.

I don’t feel like dragging sickness into my prayer life… read more.

why we have to pray for healing www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

{HAPPY CHRISTMAS}

Christmas is coming up, and I want to thank you for following my blog. When you sign up you’ll receive 3 downloadable and printable cards suitable for someone with a chronic illness – and anyone in need of some love!

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I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter! Meet me there for more interesting reads, resources and community.

Should I be encouraging my chronically ill friend to serve?

We can’t really be expected to hold our friends accountable when they can barely get out of bed… can we?

Accountability and encouragement are two things we talk a lot about as Christians.

Similarly, we know that the Bible calls us all to serve God.

But what do we do when our friend (who we are supposed to be encouraging to serve) is chronically ill?

Surely sickness lets them off the hook?

We can’t really be expected to hold them accountable in this area when they can barely get out of bed… can we?

To read the rest of the post head over to Blogs by Christian Women where I am guest posting this week!

 

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I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter! Meet me there for more interesting reads, resources and community.

Sickness and Jesus’ response

We can talk on and on about how we ought to respond to our chronically sick Loved Ones.

We can outline what the Right Thing to do is, or make lists of What Not To Do.

But in the end, if we claim Jesus as our Saviour and role model, the only thing that really matters is how He responded.

Like father, like son.

Like Saviour, like saved.

Being a Christian is copying Jesus.

But Jesus is impossible to copy!

When we think about Jesus’ response to the sick, we think immediately of his miraculous healings – and then we give up.

In case you haven’t realised … we can’t heal.

Of course we can implement medicine or relief strategies, but we can’t wave our hands and miraculously banish sickness.

If only.

Continue reading “Sickness and Jesus’ response”

Can Jesus really sympathise?

“Jesus knows what you’re going through.”

The Bible tells us that Jesus as a High Priest can sympathise with all of our sufferings. That He knows what it is to be human.

I have often rebelled against that.

Was Mary sick with an incurable disease? Was Joseph? Did one of Jesus’ brothers or sisters suffer from epilepsy or depression or MS?

If not, then how can He possibly know what it’s like to be a Watcher?

How can He possibly sympathise with me?
Continue reading “Can Jesus really sympathise?”

Jesus prayed, I prayed, and neither of us were answered: How to pray for healing

When I sit down to pray for my sick loved one, I want to pray for healing.
That’s natural.
And yet I know that immediate physical healing is not always in God’s plan. Are there other specific things I should be praying about then?
Or ought I simply add a disclaimer, like “may your Will be done”?

I’ve written about prayer in Why we need to make up our minds about prayer and Why we should pray for healing from chronic illness.

I’ve asked whether the Bible promises to answer prayer in Why praying for healing is tricky.

Now it’s time to answer the question: what should we pray?

To answer this, I think it’s helpful to look at how Jesus prayed.

Contents

  • Jesus prayed contradictory prayers
  • Jesus prayed huge prayers
  • I have prayed prayers that were not answered and others that were (God healed my sister but not my mum)
  • This is why I keep praying

Continue reading “Jesus prayed, I prayed, and neither of us were answered: How to pray for healing”

Why praying for healing is tricky (dealing with ‘troublesome’ Bible passages)

As I’ve wrestled with the concept of prayer and the reality of chronic illness in my life, I’ve discovered a Big Tricky Question.
I can’t ignore it any longer.

I’ve written about prayer in Why we need to make up our minds about prayer and Why we should pray for healing from chronic illness.

But the Big Tricky Question keeps niggling at me.

It’s this:
Not everyone who prays is healed.

So what do we do (as Christians and/or as Watchers) with the parts of the Bible that promise immediate healing?

Why do passages in the Bible promise healing but not deliver?

First disclaimer: I’m not a trained theologian.

Second disclaimer: context is important, but for the sake of a read-able blog post I haven’t included the surrounding chapters of each of these verses.

Third disclaimer (this is the most important!): I can’t promise a miracle. But I can offer you company as you look through theses verses and puzzle over them. I can offer you my thoughts, and a chance to put aside your assumptions and your aching heart to read these passages anew.

Will you join me?

Continue reading “Why praying for healing is tricky (dealing with ‘troublesome’ Bible passages)”

Why we should pray for healing in chronic illness (& 3 reasons it is so hard)

I’ve said before that for me, prayer is often feels like making a wish on a ‘wish chip’ or over a birthday cake.

Today, I want to suggest that perhaps prayer is also like waving a magic wand…

The last post discussed why we need to make up our minds about prayer, even if it seems silly or childish. Now I want to ask:

Why should we pray for healing if our Loved One’s illness is chronic?

Prayer is not a choice

If a wizard doesn’t have a wand, we begin to doubt whether he truly is a wizard.

If he has one, and doesn’t use it… well that’s just silly!

Likewise, the Bible says if we are Christians, prayer for healing is not just an optional extra if we feel in the right mood (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:13). It’s part of who we are.

We want healing, plain and simple. And if we’re not asking God for it, I suspect it means we’re asking someone else.

Perhaps we have pinned our hopes on doctors and treatments (the gifts rather than the Giver) or simply ‘fate’ (what will be will be).

If the former, we’ve created idols; if the latter, we’ve lost sight of God’s bigness and sovereignty.

Prayer can sometimes feel like something of little consequence. A few muttered words, clenched fists, perhaps closed eyes. Yet I think, as Watchers, praying for healing is a unique way we can live out our faith.

It is faith in action and glorifies God as trustworthy and powerful.

Continue reading “Why we should pray for healing in chronic illness (& 3 reasons it is so hard)”

Prayer + Chronic Illness = ? (Or, why we need to make up our minds about prayer)

When I was little I used to search the chip packet for wish chips.

Chips in general were rare in my household, and those double folded chips were even rarer.

When you ate them you were meant to make a wish. Like wish bones in chickens and blowing out birthday candles.

Every time I crunched a wish chip, I wished for the same thing.

I wished for my mum to be healed.

Now even if you had asked, I would have said I didn’t really believe in wishes… but I felt I had to try.

Just in case.

A lot of us think the same thing about praying for healing.
We have to try.

Just in case.
Continue reading “Prayer + Chronic Illness = ? (Or, why we need to make up our minds about prayer)”