Sickness is a time for service and ministry. If it is for a stranger, extend the love of Christ. If it is someone in the family of God, when we visit it is like visiting Christ - serve them with love.
During this trial it is important to pray. In Lazarus' case, the sisters were the ones who reached out to Jesus on his behalf. The family and community need to pray for those who are sick.
Praying, "Lord, the one you love is sick" helps:
- remind the person praying that they are not alone in caring for their loved one (a burden is lifted)
- it is not a command/demand to God (trust that Jesus understands the situation)
- do not allow a false theology or the evil one convince you that sickness/death is due to the lack of God's love
- a time of prayer can lead to healing, but we must always allow the Lord to have the final word (continue to trust Him)
Jesus did come to His friend's aid, just not on the timing they expected. No matter what takes place, trust that God has a purpose for everything. Keep the focus on glorifying God even in the midst of suffering.
One way to become a more compassionate people is through suffering. Illness can teach us humility, strengthen a community, remind us of our dependence on God for life, and give us a sober assessment about our lives.
Do not dwell on the why of a situation, but on what God wants to do with the situation. If your prayers for healing do not get answered, remember that there is hope for an eternity with the ones we love by God's grace.