In this video recording, Fr. Agapios Naous recalls an inspiring encounter between a physician and his patient who suffered from diabetes and was thankful for his weakness. He identified 5 reasons to be thankful for this illness. “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” [2 Corinthians 11:30]
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Saint Elias Church, Mtayleb, Lebanon, Nov 9, 2021
There is a doctor with many studies and degrees and gives people medication… He is a well renowned doctor, known for curing diabetes. He used to go to conferences here and there to learn, along with the medicine he gives to patients, to learn how to console their hearts with few words. So that they would become positive… Conferences and lectures here and there, so he could spread positivity while treating his patients.
There was this diabetic. Each time he went to see this doctor, he was saying to him: “Thank God! Thank God for this illness which God has given me, the diabetes! Thank You, O Lord, for the blessing of diabetes which I currently have!”
The doctor went silent the first time, the second time, the third time… “Praise be to You, O God, for this grace of diabetes which I have!” After his consultation the doctor finally told him “Can I ask you a question? “You are sick, why are you thanking God for your diabetes?” He told him “I am speaking the truth! I am very happy with my diabetes! Because it taught me five very important things which I did not know before. The doctor said to him “I wish you could teach me. I attend conferences so that I may learn. Perhaps I will learn it from you.”
He told him, “It’s very easy. Listen, doctor, first of all, I thank God for this diabetes that I have because it does not hurt. My God, there are so many other diseases which hurt!” The doctor began to understand how this disease can be seen in a positive way. He said “Okay, I get that there is no pain. What is the second thing that you learned?”
He said to him, “Sure, dear doctor! Blessed be God! It is true that I must still take a lot of insulin injections, but at least this disease has a cure [there is a treatment]! So many diseases are incurable.”
He continued, “The third thing, doctor, this disease has a very nice name. What is better than to say “Sugar”? [“Diabetes” = “Sugary” in Arabic] One tends to look at the negative aspects, while the good thing is that this diabetes has caused me to meet you, a fine, young and nice doctor and now I have another friend in this life.”
He then said, “But I want to tell you the fourth thing that you do not know.”
It has taught me patience and how to thank God. I didn’t know how to thank God, but now I know I have to thank God.
But the fifth is the most important one.
You know that a person who falls ill with diabetes will need to go a lot to the toilet, right? He will need to go often…
So he said to him, “Doctor, I have never in all my life woken up at night to even say to God ‘Thank you.’ Each time I woke up at night, I was always grumbling.
However now, I have to go twice or three times in the night and after each time I say to God: “Thank you, O Lord, I am still alive!” Amen.