It Just Isn't Fair, That I'm Sick
By Linda C Dipman

    The ambulance siren was blaring as it pulled up to the Emergency entrance.  Quickly a team of doctors took over
ordering an echocardiogram, followed by nitro and a cocktail of antibiotics to stop the infection that had
contaminated the heart muscles causing extensive damage and an erratic beat.  

    Family and friends gathered astonished that the flu had turned into a life threatening disease.  Now it wasn't just
a virus it was congestive heart failure.  The oxygen mask and the tubes running in and out of the patient frightened
everyone and brought them to their knees in prayer.  They beseeched God Almighty to perform a miracle and to
stop the virus before it spread into other vital organs.

    Two weeks before she had just finished the 26 mile Boston marathon. She was in the best shape she had ever
been and now a flu virus changed everything.  How could this happen to a vivacious woman who was so full of
energy?  She was a good person who was a Sunday School teacher and dedicated to serving God.  Why would God
allow this to happen to a person who was a shining example of what it is to live a Christ filled life?  It just isn't Fair!

    Ten days later she was released from the hospital free from the virus, but chained to a terminal disease of the
heart.  Her heart was irreversibly damaged and she would be under continued care by a doctor taking five
medications twice a day to regulate her heart.  Now she would have to monitor every where she went to protect
herself from possibly being infected from a minor cold to a contagious flu that would rob her of her life.

    A mind game began to play like a record in her head ever questioning why she was given such a hard burden to
bare.  She seldom was sick before, because she had done everything that was recommended to lead a healthy
lifestyle.  She ate the right foods, and went to regular check-ups.  Now everything she did to live the right kind of life
was thrown away as if burned up in a fire of remembrance of what her life had once been.

      She was robbed of ever living a normal life again.  A torment that took away her freedom and chained her life to
continued doctor visits and medication that had side affects that made her dizzy and deprived her of her strength.  A
lifestyle that would never be the way that it was before!  "It just wasn't fair that I'm sick!”

    Her friends were astonished at the severity of her disease.  In the past they had gone on outings of shopping
trips to adventures that took them to beautiful walking trails and parks.  They were her confidants in relationships
and work.  Now everything was different, it just wasn't fair to see their friend so frail and weak.  In time each one went
their separate way.  No longer finding anything in common with her.

    Now not only was she suffering from the disease of congestive heart failure, but she was abandoned by her
friends.  Even her family was moving on with their lives and calling her less and less frequently.  She felt all alone,
except she felt the spirit of God beckoning her not to give up, but to live with the life that she was given.  In her
aloneness she read her bible and prayed, asking Jesus to help her through each day.

    John 15: 5-7, "I am the vine, and you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much
fruit;  for you can do nothing without me.  Who ever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up;
such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned.  If you remain in me and my words
remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it."

    In agony she refused to give up and surrender to her sickness.  She prayed for God to heal her, but God
refused.  Determined, she walked forward into every doctor appointment with her head high.  No matter how sick she
felt she would be cheerful and encouraging to all the other patients in the waiting room.  She would not give up and
allow Satan to rob her of her faith.

    As weeks turned into months she began to pray less for healing for herself and more for the people she met at
her physical examination appointments.  She made friends with other heart patients and their family members, who
were far worse off than she.  She became they're encourager and an inspiration to those who thought that God
didn't care about them, because the suffering they were going through just wasn't fair.

    She realized as the months turned into years that she had lived her life for herself and her service in church was
about the praise she received for teaching Sunday school, not because she loved them.  Now she began to love the
people she met in the doctors office.  She felt sympathy because she knew what it was to suffer just like them.  She
helped them to see that God hadn't deserted them, but He was right there with them through every problem they
faced from their physical conditions.

    John 15: 9-13, "I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will
remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
    I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy many be complete.  My commandment is this:
love one another, just as I love you.  The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them."

    Every hospital test and doctor appointment opened up her heart to the needs of others.  She loved the doctors,
nurses and the members of their staff.  She prayed for them and encouraged them in the jobs they did.  She
understood by her own experience how hard it was for them to lose a patient.  She consoled them and encouraged
them to lean on God.  God would help them to endure the pain they felt from not being able to save a life.

    The scriptures became alive more than ever before, helping her to see that no one in the world was suppose to
live a life separate from pain.  Suffering changes a person's character and makes them a better person.  Her limits
that were brought on by her illness actually taught her more about God than when she had lived a perfect life.  

    Even on her worse days when her heart was about to give out she reached out and found hope through her faith
in God.  She no longer told herself that it just wasn't fair, rather she praised God for finding her worthy to suffer for
His sake.  She was His witness and her life helped others to not lose hope in their own lives.

    John 15: 15-17, "I do not call you servants any longer, because a servant does not know what his master is
doing.  Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.  You did not choose
me;  I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind that endures.  And so the Father will give
you whatever you ask of him in my name.  This, then, is what I command you:  love one another."  

    As she lay dying in the hospital bed she smiled at the nurses and aids that hovered around her bed side, she
had grown to love them so much and they loved her.  With her last dying breath she assured them that she was
going to paradise to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  

    Three hundred people gathered for her funeral.  Everyone had a story to tell about how she helped them to
endure their illness.  A story of how much of an inspiration she was to the families and even the hospital
administration.   Her eulogy was about a person who loved God and who refused to say, "It just isn’t fair"!