... physical illnesses are such a nasty thing. You can be angry you are sick but really, who can you be mad at? It's not like it's a wrong that has been inflicted on you by some one else. Illness just happens. No one is to blame.
A lot of times, with diseases, you are also left completely dependent on other people. This can be especially difficult if you are used to being completely self sufficient. I think this is why Christians handle disease better than atheists. Christians never really view themselves as 100% self reliant. We know that we always must rely on God first and foremost. So seeking help is less of a sting to our pride. But it is a sting non the less.
In the absence of a tangible person or thing to lay blame for a sickness, sadly, many will blame God. So it may seem like a simple thing for us to offer our prayers. In fact, it may seem like a wholly useless thing when people facing their mortality and physically weakness need so much and all we have to offer of our promises of prayer.
You may distress that you can't be there for them at their sides when they need you most. You may feel as helpless as they feel to themselves. But know, your prayers are needed and valued as much, if not more, than your physical presence.
Several people who are close and dear to me have been struck ill and are in need of prayer. They need prayers or strength and faith as much as they need prayers of healing. Sometimes God doesn't heal... physically at least. But if asked, He will always give comfort and strength. Sometimes an illness brings many who were drifting away from Him back. It's amazing what a squelched sense of immortality can do for a person's spirituality.
I endured this first hand. At thirty four, who has a heart attack? I did. I realized that while I may be young I can still go at any moment He determines. This had an incredible impact on my mass attendance, to say the least.
Of course I am not implying that those who fall ill deserve it out of retribution for a false sense of spiritual and physical security. I am not challenging the faithfulness of any individual before they fall ill. I'm just referring to myself and my own experience. And since I am always trying to over come my natural inclination towards cynicism and lack of charity, I force myself to find the good in every situation. Annoying, yes. But it keeps me from wallowing.
So back to my friends; Please pray for Jill H who is receiving chemo for lung cancer, John R. who is receiving chemo for throat cancer, M.R. who found a lump in her breast, Michelle C. who is waiting for her diagnosis of MS, Philip Gerard Johnson who is a local seminarian with a brain tumor and in Lourdes right now, Dorothy C. who is struggling with fertility issues, and lastly Hilary White who is undergoing chemo for cancer.
Pray for their strength and faith as well as for their family and those who care for them.