MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5
“struck down, but not destroyed”
2 Corinthians 4:9 ESV
WHEN SICKNESS HAPPENS: STRUCK DOWN
A woman took her husband to the doctor’s office for a checkup. After his checkup the doctor said, “Your husband is suffering from a very serious illness.” The husband was hard of hearing and said, “What did he say?” “He says you are sick” his wife replied. The doctored continued, “But there is hope. You just need to reduce his stress. Each morning, give him a full breakfast. Always be pleasant, nice and kind. For lunch and dinner make him his favorite meals. Never argue with him and always keep yourself looking as perfect as possible. Basically, cater to his every whim or he will die soon.” The husband again asked his wife, “What did the doctor say?” She replied, “The doctor said you will die soon.” While this was a light-hearted look at our health, we know that health, sickness, and doctor visits can be a scary and serious thing.
Over the past few weeks we have looked at four forms of intense suffering in 2 Corinthians 4; each followed by an assurance that our affliction will not result in complete failure or destruction. (1) afflicted — but not crushed; (2) perplexed — but not despairing; (3) persecuted — but not forsaken; (4) struck down — but not destroyed. This fourth idea of “struck down but not destroyed conveys the idea of catastrophic tragedy. It captures the stunning, shattering blows which come out of nowhere-a fatal car accident, severe illness, the violence of rioting or warfare, the death toll from natural disasters.
- Philip Arthur’s words here are helpful: “Taken together, these four images tell us that Paul was a hard-headed realist with no romantic illusions about his service for God. Far from depicting himself as a spiritual superhero blazing a trail of success like a comet across the first-century sky, Paul portrayed himself as a groggy fighter reeling from a succession of near-lethal blows, surprised to find himself still on his feet and sure that if he was still standing, it was only
by the grace of God that he was still standing.”
The knockout blows of life come to us all. We, like the Apostle Paul, are only able to survive the devastating knockout blows of life by the grace of God. And thankfully by the grace of God we have survived thus far. What are some of the heaviest blows life has hit you with? Think of specific ways God has sustained you and thank Him. If you currently feel knocked down, thank God for His proven history of getting His children through the fights.