Note: This is entry 8 in a study guide series called “Four Seasons of Healing: A Pathway for Those Living with Chronic Illness.” For a list of entries click here.
Part III: Summer: Making Connections (June to August)
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it
(1 Corinthians 12:26-27)
Look! How good and how pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head
running down on the beard—
running down on Aaron’s beard,
and down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon,
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing
Even life forevermore.
Making a connection with God during my freshman year at college led me to join a campus Christian fellowship. I made new friends there and even began to share my psoriasis story with them. One night I poured out my pain to a Bible study leader as I recounted a decade of struggles with skin inflammation. I truly experienced the power of being a member of Christ’s body as others suffered along with me. That evening revealed God’s presence and healing power through others to me.
Psalm 133 eloquently describes how God bestows his blessings on the community of faith. It’s where God sends the refreshing dew of Hermon and oil of Aaron that spreads from one person to another. As spiritual pilgrims journeyed together to Jerusalem for the annual feasts, they undoubtedly thought of how they needed God’s refreshment when they sang Psalm 133.
Mt. Hermon is about 10,000 ft. above sea level as the tallest peak in Israel. It is well known for its lush greenery even in hot, dry summer weather. Each morning the mountain waits expectantly for the next dousing of dew. The dew of Hermon would not fall on Zion, or Jerusalem, directly though. The distance between the two locations precluded it. But the psalmist sought to convey the idea that gathering in faith is like Hermon’s Dew falling among God’s people who gather there.
God’s healing ministry is found among His people who serve one another and carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Believers today, on their journey toward spiritual growth and seeking God, serve a similar role in each other’s lives. The interconnectedness of God with his children, and brothers and sisters in Christ, forms bonds through which God brings about his healing.
Recount a time when fellowship with others felt refreshing and restorative.
Consider the role of community in the healing process, especially when living with chronic illness.
- What blessings might come from sharing your life with others, especially in areas that people tend to keep hidden?
- What about an ongoing circumstance, such as incurable illness, makes it difficult to share with others? How do you feel when someone comes to you for support or encouragement repeatedly?
For Further Thought
The analogy of the Body of Christ is a vivid reminder of the interconnectedness of those who are Christians. But like the human body, it can become sick and dysfunctional.
- Based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, what are the signs that relationships are healthy? What are signs that relationships are unhealthy?)?
- Paul writes that believers are interconnected like different parts of a body. How should those in the Body treat each other when members are sick or hurting?
- What makes it difficult for you to share your struggles with others or hear others’ struggles?
Close in Prayer
Pray for a greater sense and experience of being connected with others, especially in a way where when one part suffers that all suffer. Pray for those whom you know are carrying heavy burdens, such as chronic illness, in their lives.