Nov 14 2011 Published by under Ministry

By Dr. Mary Logan

 Have you ever been extremely ill? If so, have you ever asked yourself what God wanted to teach you through your illness?

 In November 2010, I arrived safely in Cape Town, South Africa around 11 p.m. Missionaries Bob and Jackie Braswell met me at the airport and took me to their guest house. The next day we ate a delicious meal at an established restaurant in the mall. The following morning around 6:30, I awoke with extreme nausea and diarrhea. I don’t remember ever vomiting so much. Even the small amount of Coke I drank to settle my stomach did not help.

 Was the illness due to the food I had eaten? Was it caused by the tap water? Was there another cause? That Saturday was a miserable day physically yet a wonderful day spiritually. As I contemplated what God wanted to teach me through this illness, the following areas came to mind:

 1.  Learning to have compassion for others who have needs. When all is well with us, sometimes we forget how badly people feel when they are sick or when they have problems.

 2.  Depending on God’s healing power. Divine healing is provided for in the atonement. The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:4–5, emphasis added).

 3.  Allowing others to serve me during my illness. God blesses you and them through their service. Missionary Jackie Braswell so graciously took care of me.

 4.  Spending time meditating on God’s Word and thoroughly basking in His presence. We were scheduled to take a trip to Cape Point and to see the penguins on the beach. However, the illness took precedence over these plans. In essence, God gave me a special time with Him to prepare spiritually for the Global University course I came to facilitate for Cape Theological Seminary.

 5. Allowing God to speak to me through songs. Because music has always been a part of my life, God frequently reminds me of songs I have learned. One song God brought to my mind during the illness was Dottie Rambo’s “I Will Glory in the Cross.” It reminded me of the Scripture verse, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).

Did I glory in the cross of Christ, or did I glory in my own works? As a believer, did I live every day with a sensitive awareness of the cross of Christ?

What do you think it means to “glory in the cross”? What has God taught you through an illness?

Mary Logan, Ed.D., is a Course Development Specialist and Professor of Business and Education at Global University. For more information about Global University, visit


8 responses so far

  • Roberto says:

    Thank you for your interaction! It encouraging when you see fellow brothers and sisters exchanging ideas, thoughts and experiences about Christian living.
    New blog coming on Monday, stay tuned.

  • Elizabeth Fletcher says:

    “Okay God, is it my time to go?” was my mental reply when I too became very sick within 24 hours of arriving in South Africa. My son emailed home that his mother was so sick he thought she would die. He had never seen me ill.

    The most potent memory I have is of God’s complete control. My trust factor increased exponentially. Perhaps that was just a byproduct of the consequences from “bad” water but for me, it was the “working of all things together for good to those who love him and are called to his purpose.”

    • Mary says:

      Thanks for your response! Sometimes, it seems easier to serve than to be served. As you indicated, though, pride needs to be replaced by humility.

      • Mary says:

        Thanks, Elizabeth, for your response! God does have a way of working all things for our good. Hallelujah!

  • Jean says:

    Sometimes we have to humble ourselves even as Christ and allow others to share by serving. I tend to think about the story of Mary and Martha where when Jesus came to their house and one went about preparing a meal and the other sat at Jesus feet and even washed his feet and then dried them with her own hair.

    Pride tends to get in our way and when we are so used to serving or helping others, it’s hard to accept the help in return. For me, I recently had knee surgery. Nothing major but I was unable to do certain things due to being on crutches. It was very difficult for me to have to ask someone to help me (such as getting a drink of water or carrying my food plate). Several from church offered to bring food and told me to let them know if there was something they could do. I would say we’re ok because pride got in the way. I did give in and let a couple people bring us food. I know we are taught servitude in church and they were just trying to practice what they were taught. It was very much appreciated not having to worry about trying to fix dinner when I could barely move around at the time. Having an illness or surgery is definitely an humbling experience when you have to depend on someone else to help you.

    • Mary says:

      Jean, thanks for your response! Sometimes, it seems easier to serve than to be served. As you indicated, though, pride needs to be replaced by humility.

  • Roberto says:

    Thank you for sharing this blog with us.