• Elyce Richards

Elyce - Health Update

Over the last 2-3 months, I have been very sick. There hasn't been much that I have been able to do other than to pray and keep going as various little sicknesses kept knocking me down. Sickness is not something I can just deny- that would be lying. But to declare the goodness and power of the Lord- that is what is going to change my present experience and my future.

I am so blessed to have a community of people who have been praying for me and improved health daily. The last few years have been a battle to reclaim the health that God intends for me. Not only is there important work for me to do, but also God desires for me to live in unity. The new Life that I now carry in my spirit because of Christ needs to break forth into my physical being.

Living with sickness (especially sickness that has lasted a long time) is a challenge for any Christian. It is important to investigate what is wrong, to bring this information to God in prayer, and to act. But this path is a difficult one to walk in the midst of unanswered questions or hopeless diagnoses. In God, we have the source of all answers and there is always hope.

So many books have come into my hands teaching about healing, building a theological foundation for God's will to heal. I can hold in one hand the Truth that I sincerely believe, and in the other hand an experience of sickness that just does not make sense.

Sometimes it feels like a juggling act- and there are just too many balls to hold up in the air! Doctors appointments, research, figuring out the best questions to ask, communicating the results, more tests, trialing changes, waiting, praying, asking for prayer, giving updates, trusting God, feeling sick, taking note of changes of symptoms, documenting, ignoring feelings of sickness to keep going, work, social commitments, cancelling commitments, taking sick leave, explaining to people what's going on, and not explaining to people what's going on! There just seems to be a thousand small decisions to be made and follow through- all the while, not feeling very good! But the greatest burden of feeling sick is that it is always at the forefront of my thinking.

Last year, I had a break though. Galations 6:2 (NASB) says 'Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.' This led to a discussion with Tim about how we would divide the responsibilities of the burden-carrying associated with sickness. But notice how the verse says 'thereby fulfill the law of Christ'. Why does it not say the love of Christ or the gospel of Christ? It says the law of Christ. The law of Christ is a multi-faceted idea, but one aspect of law is the reality of personal responsibility and how this affects the outcome. If you live according to the law, there will be peace. If you live in opposition to the law, there will be consequences.

The idea to share another's load (burdens) is one aspect of the law of Christ. It renewed my forgotten passion to intercede in prayer for others (forgotten because sickness makes me think a lot about myself!). It also helped me to loosen my hold on my own burdens and let Tim, and others carry them for me. I began by interceding more, and this had a secondary effect of keeping my mind off myself. Then, people started telling me that they were praying for me daily. When feeling sick at work, I would recall all the names of the people who were praying for me that day, and get on with my work.

My church and close friends showed me a great amount of compassion and did not expect too much of me while I was feeling sick. I cannot say how powerfully they took a heavy burden from me! It is a difficult burden to have to always explain what is going on and make people understand.. all the time. When I didn't have to keep explaining or asking for allowances, I could focus my attention on speaking positively! I could say, 'I am feeling better.' and they would continue to watch out for me and not demand too much from me. I could say 'I've had a really good week this week.' and they would not forget to check in next week. I had people who would celebrate with me when I was well, and not forget the big picture battle. This is the single biggest change I have experienced in this journey thus far!

It sounds ridiculously simple, but I NEED to speak positive words over my own health. God has given me a mouth to speak and His authority to speak that which is not into being. It is not enough that I believe that I will be well, I need to speak out loud that I will be well. I need to say with my words, that my life will not always be this way. There will be a day when I will have lots of energy, when I will not feel dizzy, when I will have lots of children, and when I will testify of God's amazing healing.

Just this week I was given a fantastic booklet called "God's Creative Power for Healing" by Charles Capps. (It can be read in one sitting and is only $5 at Koorong. I recommend it for anyone who is battling through sickness.) It is clearly God's gift in this next step of my journey. Capps uses simple language to outline the power of words, and the the power of truth which is life medicine for our spirits and our bodies. I (try to) take 15 tablets a day to have enough energy to go to work. How many more times do I need to declare out loud that God will heal me when I already know it to be true!

So even though I have written extensively here about my journey, when we speak in person, I will be speaking out loud only words of reassurance of healing over my health! I humbly ask for you to continue to pray. And thank you for your support as I battle in the Spirit for the things which I know are already mine.

I leave you with one of my favourite verses: Romans 8:2 (NASB) 'For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.' (NASB) Whatever patterns (causes and consequences) of sin and death (habits, temptations, sicknesses) that you may have experienced, there is no lawful reason for that cycle to continue. We are free! The only law that applies to us now is the law of Christ Jesus which is also called the law of the Spirit of Life. This is the only law which is now in effect - Life and more Life!

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