God uses  the Sickly.

“….because you are frequently sick.” (…Chronic illness.)- 1 Tim 5:23.

Truly His ways are not our ways.

If you were about to further the kingdom of God during times of persecution by a mad man named Nero who blamed the Christians for the burning of most of Rome. He had them rounded up and wrap the freshly used skins of animals around the Christians and set vicious  dogs upon them tearing into them  and ravaging them. Others were covered in  tar and set on fire and used as Lamp lights to light Nero’s gardens . With that  as a  background  who would you choose to pass on the truth of the Gospel and teach people the Word of God? Hmmm. Maybe someone who is tall and muscular in statue! Someone who is fearless ,someone who when  he walks into a room he has a presence that commands immediate respect. Someone whose mere physical presence brings comfort. . A warrior! Yep, we need a Warrior, like a Sampson ! Step forward …  A frail, easily  intimidated, young, frequently sick man….say what? Yep, Step forward Timothy !

The Scripture says he was frequently sick!   Yet, Paul says when writing to the Philippians 2:19 –


” But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. “

** We read in 1 Timothy 6:11-  Timothy is the only one called “Man O God-“ BY Name in the NT.



“But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;  because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.  For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.  Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.

 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;

because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.” -{ Philippians 2:25}

God takes the weak to confound the wise;

A young girl in Northern Ireland had a very painful disease she suffered with , neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole body weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks. Later on she would hear Hudson Taylor, missionary to Inland China speak on the subject of missions. She undertook training in preparation for her to be sent out by a mission society , only for them to reject her due to her illness . She did not give up. Eventually she joined another mission group and spent time in Japan before going to India and again her illness flared up ( at this point we see the Providence of God in using people, circumstances to further His cause.). In moving to another part of India due to Ill health, helped rescue a young girl from the temple where young girls were used for prostitution. Great threats were made against her, But this sickly young woman remained steadfast .Establishing a place called Dohnavur she rescued hundreds of young girls from a life of sexual abuse and introducing them to the Savior. It was said of her that the young girls knew she loved them. She had a severe fall and for the greater part of  20 years was bed ridden… “But God…” would work this for good for future generations , for she wrote an extra  16 books during that time… Her illness, injury was used of God to bless those in her sphere but He was using her life that it would bless future generations way and beyond what would be imagined… No one could have imagined what God was doing with her and through her during that time of been bedridden…

Amy Carmichael’s legacy lives on!

Joni Tad’a Erickson as a young woman, dived into water and was injured and became a paraplegic, John Stott once was speaking at a conference on the cross and said what he was speaking about Joni was living. She has recorded songs, painted, written many articles and speaks testifying of the grace and glory of Jesus Christ! His strength made perfect in weakness.

God uses the “weak,” to further His Gospel. Timothy, Amy Carmichael, Joni plus countless others could say, ” I can’t because I am too sick, it is beyond me- sorry but no thanks!”

But step forth Paul, to give Timothy the assurance that in and of  themselves they would fail to accomplish God’s will, His will can only be accomplished through His enabling! You need God’s help. Paul says to young, easily intimidated, frequently ill Timothy,

” You therefore, my son, BE STRONG IN THE GRACE THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS.” ( 2 Timothy 2:2).

Note Paul’s tenderness, in calling him, “my son.” Timothy was not his biological son but his spiritual one, and Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit writes these tender words of endearment, affection. He was displaying his own heart which is a  reflection of the very heart of God who loved Timothy and who loves you!

Timothy’s strength to do the will of God was not nullified because of his age, disposition, or illness’s. His strength would be in receiving and relying and appropriating the Grace of Jesus Christ. He was saved by Grace. He was  sustained by grace, and now we see he would be strengthened to serve by the grace, empowerment of Jesus Christ! Grace to teach others. Grace to suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Grace to please Jesus Christ. Grace to Save – Sustain – Strengthen- all that he would need would be found in the grace of our Lord Jesus! Illness does not negate your usefulness to God! God loves you, and supplies all the strength you need to do his will! We are dependent upon Him to supply. We are responsible to do His will in the strengthening grace He imparts. Paul told Timothy to teach the Word, make disciples. He tells him to have the mindset of a soldier, athlete, farmer ( 2 Tim  2:7). He could do all these because of the reservoir of grace supplied to him continuously!

Amy Carmichael once received a letter by a young woman who was considering missions,  asking ” what is missionary life like? ” Amy wrote back saying simply, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”

A young preacher sought out an older man to ask what advice would he give to a young preacher starting out? He said the man,s eyes began to fill with tears as he solemnly  replied , ” God is not using many men today ,they are too bug to be used .”

  • Sickness does not nullify the Grace of God, but pride does!

God chose a frequently sick man, He providentially used the sickness of a young woman to place her where she would have an eternal  effect on the lives of countless others. And during near twenty years of illness, He gave her the time to write that future generations may also be used of Him to bid people come and die to their life, in order to prefer others for their highest spiritual good and God’s glory! Die to your life in this world so that  others might live, God continues to use Joni!

Its not about your disability but the sufficient strengthening grace of our Lord Jesus for you to further the Gospel, right in the circumstance you find yourself in. It is about the reality if your weakness and realizing it can be your strength as you trust Jesus Christ with it ”  When Paul realized this. In his own life concerning his “thorn,” and He had three times asked the Lord to remove it but the answer he received, ” My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness,” His response was not despair, bitterness or to sit down and quit. His response was ,” Gladly will I Glory, for when I am weak then I am strong.” His weakness did not disqualify him, indeed it qualified Him for sufficient grace and power of the LORD Jesus! His ways are not our ways. What some consider weakness in God’s hands it becomes a strength!

In the time of great persecution, God would choose a weak sickly man to continue the preparation of others to teach and to do the work of an Evangelist!  He in turn would invest in others and down through the generations God continues to use the ” weak,” the sickly and even the healthy, who all have one thing in common, they are weak enough in their own selves to trust, lean on Him for their strength to serve

The very thing you think may impede, or be detrimental to you being of any good to serve the Lord, may be very thing when placed in His trust, may be the very thing that God uses to strengthen you, to serve Him efficiently and with eternal blessings for others, for Jesus sake!