That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 154)
If I understand this quote, correctly, I think it’s saying that when we’re physically sick, our souls are healthy, but unable to manifest their inherent might and power. When we recover, though, our souls will have so much influence and power, that no force on earth can equal them and those who are pure, refined and sanctified will rejoice with exceeding gladness.
It’s true that when I’m physically or emotionally sick, I find it hard to pray and even to trust God, which surely creates a veil between the two of us. If I’m sick enough, though, my soul cries out for relief and I’m always grateful when the prayer is answered. I think illness and pain are some of the tests we undergo for the perfection of our souls, to help us develop the virtues we need the most and to draw us closer to God. I often imagine that when we pass these tests, the Concourse on High celebrates with us. The exciting part of this quote for me though is knowing that when we recover from our illness, we have a huge power at our disposal. I wonder what my life would be like if I acted “as if” I believed this? What would I be able to accomplish then?
Knowing there is a purpose for my sicknesses, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Making Friends with Sin and Temptation