My littlest kiddo, Jonah, was all up all last night coughing and throwing up (from the coughing), and having a hard time breathing. His heart rate was up too high as well. He’s doing better after a full day of caring for him along with breathing treatments, hot showers, and any other home remedy you can think of!
It’s been a tough day, especially for my wife. We both got to have the privilege of helping Jonah out last night and today, but she’s born the brunt of that, and as we’ve just laid Jonah down for bed, I’m pretty sure she’ll be heading that way shortly as well.
Every time that one of our kiddos gets really sick I always have the same thought buzz around in my mind – I hate sin.
That might seem like a strange thought to have, because it’s not like they’re sick because they’ve done something wrong and God has stricken them with an illness, and I definitely don’t believe that sickness is something that, if we just had more faith, we’d be cured of (I actually think that’s heretical!).
The reason that this thought about hating sin comes up when my children get sick is because I understand that it’s only because there is sin in the world, that there is also sickness in the world. Sickness, calamity, sufferings, afflictions, death, pain, sorrow, despair, grief, sadness, and all other evils of this world – they are all in existence because of sin. We have many words with many varying definitions all to help us describe a world in which sin has caused men to daily die and the creation to groan in agony. If sin had never entered the world, words like sickness wouldn’t even exist! But, sadly, from the one man’s disobedience, death spread to all men.
There is nothing that more consistently makes me remember the harmful effects of sin than the sickness and pain of my loved ones. The reason is that there is nothing that more clearly illustrates the way that sin doesn’t only offend God, it destroys us too. The effect of Adam sinning brought “toil” and “hard labor” into the world. It brought sickness into the world. It caused men’s bodies to deteriorate over the span of 80 measly short years.
Now, I’m not saying that all of our sickness comes from direct sin, Jesus explicitly denied that individual sin always brings about those types of consequences (John 9:2-3). As a matter of fact, he reminds us that all things, even our sicknesses, are working for the glory of God, which is the Christian’s greatest good and joy.
What I am saying though, is that we see in sickness the far-reaching consequences of the “surely dying” that Adam’s sin brought about, and so in every sickness, we have a picture of the soul-destroying power of sin. If an illness can so easily debilitate our bodies, then what would the full force of the consequences of sin bring down on us? Well the bible has an answer – forever death in hell.
And so, when I look at my little two year old baby boy, and see him lethargic, sniffly, coughing constantly, and short of breath, I think of how much I hate sin, and how much I want to be free from it, not only it’s penalty (which I am freed from), but also its power and presence in my life.
But praise God that in the gospel, we are promised a future where there will be no more sickness, no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more death! Because Jesus came to earth and lived perfectly, even amid all the same afflictions and sorrows and weaknesses that we face, and because Jesus died a substitutionary death in our place, and because he rose again having conquered sin and death, we can have life everlasting that’s free from sin!
And so, although sickness makes me hate sin, it also makes me love Jesus all the more, and it makes me cling ever more tightly to the precious promise of a forever joyful future without sickness and death found only in the gospel.