Sickness helps to make us think seriously of God, and our souls, and the world to come. Most people in their days of health can find no time for such thoughts. They dislike them. They put them away. They count them troublesome and disagreeable.
Now a severe disease has a wonderful power of mustering and rallying these thoughts, and bringing them up before the eyes of a man’s soul. Even a wicked king like Benhadad, when sick, could think of Elisha (2 Kings 8:8.) Even unbelieving sailors, when death was in sight, were afraid, and “cried every man to his god.” (Jonah 1:5.) Surely anything that helps to make people think is good.
– JC Ryle –