The Holy Spirit and Chronic Illness

If you’ve been listening with me to the Abiding Together podcast then you will know that the latest episode is the final in a series of 3 about the Blessed Trinity. Today, the ladies spoke about their thoughts about the Holy Spirit- a wholly mystical and often misunderstood branch of the trinity. What what does the Holy Spirit and chronic illness have to do with each other?

(If you haven’t caught up on the previous episodes, catch those here!)

Far from being able to describe the Holy Spirit myself, I would like to open discussion about the Holy Spirit and how it applies to life with chronic illness.

The Holy Spirit and chronic illness

I know what you are thinking, the Holy Spirit is just a floaty, non-tangible part of the Trinity that I don’t really give much thought to. The Father, yes, the imagery is strong with that one. The Son, check, we can visualize what He “looks” like and attempt to put a human face to the name, so to speak. But the Holy Spirit. Nah. No idea there.

And I get you.

I do.

But stick with me. 

Romans 8:6 tells us that “the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” What is life with chronic illness other than one rife with anxiety and pain? Being in physical, and therefore emotional, pain is not life and it certainly isn’t peace. 

But what happens when we open ourselves to the Spirit? What happens when we believe that inviting the life and peace of the Holy Spirit will help us manage our chronic illness? 

Will we be healed? Nope.

Does the pain magically end? Nada.

But we experience something more profound, despite our pain, when we open our heart to the Holy Spirit. We experience wisdom, peace, and life. Yes, life is still hard. We are still in physical pain, and yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, our emotional pain over time becomes more manageable. 

Holy Spirit, Trinity, and chronic illness

Some people say that the Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that comes in whispers and shadows. That the Holy Spirit is the little voice in our heart that guides us, that inspires us, and that shows us the way. Perhaps yes, this is very true. 

And yet at the same time, if you know me, you know that you can whisper in my ear all you want, and you will get nowhere fast. I’m more of a sledge hammer type person. Yes, the whole whispers and shadows thing makes for good art and imagery, but for me, that isn’t necessarily the reality.

And that’s okay.

If that’s you, I get that too.

But no matter if it requires a sledge hammer, storm, whisper, or shadow, the Holy Spirit can’t move within us if we aren’t open to It. If we are closed off, separate from the Spirit, no amount of journaling, reading, writing, meditations, or medication is going to bring you life and peace. It’s that simple.

So today, let your prayer be one of an open heart. Let the Spirit move in you so that with the help of the Trinity, that even though we are still in pain, we still have swollen joints, fatigue, and fear about the future, deep in our hearts, we too can experience the life and peace of the Holy Spirit.


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