Do you know a young person who is dealing with a serious health problem? Do you have an illness or disability that prevents you from enjoying the activities that others your age take part in?
If so, it’s only natural for you to be discouraged at times. The Bible, however, contains two very comforting thoughts.
Your Creator, Jehovah God, knows your situation. More than that, “he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.
Countless young people who face challenging health problems have found that faith in God and in his promises sustains them. Consider four examples.
By the time I was 11, I needed a wheelchair to get around. I’m unable to perform simple tasks, such as lifting even light objects.
At age five, I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a degenerative illness that greatly limits me. At times, I get discouraged because I can’t do the things that others my age can. But my parents and those in my congregation give me physical, emotional, and spiritual support. I serve as a full-time minister, and fellow Christians often accompany me as I conduct Bible studies with interested ones.
Jesus said that each day has its own anxieties. (Matthew 6:34) So I try to take one day at a time and set realistic goals for myself that I can reach and achieve. I look forward to the day in God’s new world when I will be able to have “the real life,” free of this debilitating illness.—1 Timothy 6:19.
To think about: Yeimy finds it helpful to “set realistic goals.” How can you do the same?—1 Corinthians 9:26.
My back began to hurt when I was six years old, and at first the doctors blamed growing pains. A year later, though, they discovered that a tumor had developed along my spine.
I had an operation, but the surgeon was able to remove only about 40 percent of the tumor. And then—in just two months—the tumor was back to its original size! Since then, I’ve had many examinations, many treatments, and many disappointments.
At times, the tumor causes pain like knife stabs all over, but mostly in my back and chest. Still, I try not to be consumed with my situation. I remind myself that others have endured terrible things too, and yet they’ve remained positive. My greatest help in maintaining a positive attitude is my confidence that one day Jehovah God will fulfill his promise to end all suffering.—Revelation 21:4.
To think about: How can thinking about God’s promise to end suffering help you endure, as it helped Matteo?—Isaiah 65:17.
Since there are no outward signs of my disease, some people might think that I’m lazy. Really, though, everything can be difficult for me, including chores, study, or even getting up from bed.
When I was 16, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a debilitating and progressive disease that has affected my ability not only to work but also to share in Christian activities to the extent that I would like. I repeatedly read 1 Peter 5:7, which says: “Throw all your anxiety upon [God], because he cares for you.” I draw strength from the thought that Jehovah cares for each of us individually. It continues to strengthen me to this day.
To think about: How can you benefit by throwing your anxieties on Jehovah, as Bruna does?—Psalm 55:22.
Some people treat me as if I were a 10-year-old child. I can’t blame them, though; after all, I look like one.
At age two, I was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that began in the spinal cord and then traveled to the brain. Doctors managed to control the disease, but the treatments affected my growth. Today, I’m only 1.37 meters (4 ft 6 in.) tall. Many people think I’m lying when I tell them that I’m 18 years old!
In the Christian congregation, people treat me with dignity. They don’t play childish pranks on me, as did the kids with whom I went to school. I try to keep a positive attitude about my situation. Really, the best thing that could happen to a human being has happened to me—I’ve come to know Jehovah! Whatever I must endure, I am sure of Jehovah’s care every step of the way. Thinking of the marvelous new world that Jehovah God has promised helps me to keep a positive attitude.—Isaiah 33:24.
To think about: Why is coming to know Jehovah, as André puts it, “the best thing that can happen to a human being”?—John 17:3.