KEYWORDS: child, children, god, fault, sins

Why Is Your Child Sick?

David Berg

—Is It Your Fault?Aix Farm, FranceDFO 113523/12/80

—By Father David

1. THIS IS DECEMBER 23rd, TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS 1980‚ & DEAR DAVIDITO IS SICK! After a long hard day & a long hard night he would up with a headache last night & not feeling good, & all day today still not feeling good, with an unusually long four–hour nap. How is he now? (Maria: He's just very tired & he's resting.) Very very tired & resting. (Maria: He had a headache.) Still has a headache although we prayed for him. It sounds like he is sick, at least for the moment, was sick last night & today. We laid hands on him this afternoon when he had a headache & was crying & not feeling good at all.

2. IN WINTERTIME COLD WEATHER, ONE OF THE COMMONEST AFFLICTIONS IS A COLD, usually from getting chilled somehow or over-tired & not warm enough during the night or a combination of both or all three, & the first thing I ask the child, or usually the parents or nurses or those responsible is, did he get chilled at any time yesterday, or even the day before?

3. IT COULD BE AN AFTERMATH OF ONE OR TWO DAYS BEFORE USUALLY, IF IT'S A COLD FROM CATCHING A CHILL. Was he overtired? Did he not take his nap yesterday? (Sue: Sara said maybe he was tired because he doesn't always go to bed early. He'll stay up, & then when we wake up at 8:00 a.m., he usually wakes up & doesn't go back to sleep. He doesn't sleep in after not going to bed early.)

4. BEING A LITTLE BIT SICK & HAVING A LITTLE HEADACHE FROM BEING OVERTIRED MAY LAST AS "SORROW FOR THE NIGHT," but "joy usually cometh in the morning" after a good night's rest. (Ps.30:5.) The fact that he's still sick with a headache & very tired & had an unusually long nap today, usually means he's sick. It's very unusual for a child to have a four-hour nap. (Sue: She said at times he'd stir & kind of sounded uncomfortable & whined a bit in his sleep.)

5. IF THEY'RE FUSSY IN THEIR SLEEP‚ THAT'S TYPICAL OF SICKNESS. If they roll over, fuss a little & are restless in their sleep it's another sign usually of some illness & dis-ease, or disease, sad to say. It can even go back further if it's an accumulation, such as perhaps getting chilled at the farmer's house. Did they get chilled over there in that cold house? They did confess it was quite cold. (Maria: I asked, well they kept their clothes on & kept warm, didn't they? And James said‚ "Well, yeah‚" or something a little non-committal.)

6. WELL, THERE YOU GO AGAIN, IT'S USUALLY OUR FAULT WHEN CHILDREN CATCH DISEASES OR COLDS. It's not their sins but the sins of the parents. The parents either didn't keep them warm enough, didn't make sure they got enough rest & good nourishing food, or allowed them to come in contact with strangers & people who had disease—or all three or more—& is even worse because this almost guarantees then that their resistance was down & weakened & that the door was open for the disease to take hold‚ if they were tired & under-rested & undernourished & chilled on top of it & in contact with strangers.

7. THAT'S THE PERFECT AVENUE FOR A COLD, NUMBER ONE, flu number two‚ even pneumonia sometimes, which I had several times in my life because of it.—Not to speak of all the other diseases that you can fall prey to if your resistance is down or weakened & you have been infected through some source.

8. MANY OF US HAVE BEEN INFECTED & DON'T KNOW IT BECAUSE OUR RESISTANCE IS STRONG & UP & we don't fall prey to it because we're in good strong condition & we haven't had our body weakened by a chill or lack of rest or poor nourishment or something like that. To which of these evil things has he fallen ill, or a combination of them‚ & where has he been when in such condition he could have caught some evil disease? That's the question.

9. WHERE HAS HE BEEN, WITH WHOM HAS HE BEEN IN CONTACT, what strangers, outsiders, other children, System children, etc., where he may have picked up a bug or cold & chill in his weakened rundown unrested non-resistant condition. Did he overdo last night? Was he staying up later than usual? There was quite a lot of business & activity until late, although we left about 10 or 10:30 & that wasn't very very late. It wasn't till today about 2 p.m. I think it was when we saw him & were greeting the children & when he was sick with a headache & crying apparently not feeling good at all.

10. ALL OF THESE FACTORS ARE ALWAYS PRESENT WHEN CHILDREN GET SICK: Lack of rest, lack of sufficient nourishment, over-doing‚ getting chilled, rundown in some way with low resistance, & then, or even previously having contacted strangers, outsiders who carry diseases & to which they then fall prey because they have weakened their resistance & gotten rundown.

11. SO AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, WHEN CHILDREN GET SICK IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT, as a rule, but the fault of their parents or their caretakers or nurses through allowing them to get overtired, undernourished, overly chilled & overexposed to the public. Now which or perhaps all of these factors are true in David's case? We know his contacts with strangers & outsiders‚ the last one the farmer's family.

12. USUALLY THIS HAS TO BE IN AN INTERIOR CONFINED AIR SPACE where germs are usually spread on the air & breathed in. Normally it's not outside in an open air space where there's breeze that wafts away any germs & contamination in the air, & they're not likely to catch diseases from other people in the outdoors unless they're in direct physical contact or breathing in each other's faces.

13. EVEN IN A CHILDREN'S PLAYGROUND IT'S NOT LIKELY, unless they touch the same things the infected children touch, breathe very close to their faces, their breath or their droplets of coughing, etc. If they're out in the open air with lots of fresh air & sunshine & breeze they're not likely to catch it‚ unless they get pretty close to them to touch them, breathe their breath, etc.

14. SO WHAT WEAKENED HIS RESISTANCE & WHERE OR BY WHOM DID HE GET INFECTED? He didn't go to town that day? (Maria: No, they didn't go. Could that caterpillar have had anything?) I wonder? I thought about that too. I think the caterpillar did bite him on the neck, remember? He was all right until the caterpillar got on his neck, then he really freaked out & said "ouch" & said it bit him or pinched him!

15. HE WAS BEGINNING TO GET A LITTLE WORRIED THE HIGHER IT GOT. And you remember the first time when it got clear up to his shoulder he took it off & started it over again down on his sleeve. He didn't want it to get up so high. (Sue: Especially because he heard a couple of people squealing.) Maybe they scared him. Dora shrieked or squealed as she saw it get on his neck & his hair, she really freaked out & I think that kind of scared him. (Maria: That really influences children, any little word or cry of fear!

16. WHEN ADULTS GET FRIGHTENED IT'S CONTAGIOUS & CHILDREN CATCH IT TOO. They figure if the adult is afraid it must be something bad, really to be afraid of, so they get scared. When it is something harmless, it's a very great mistake for an adult to show fright. We can ask Sara & Alfred some of these things.

17. HAS HE HAD NO OTHER CONTACT WITH STRANGERS OTHER THAN THE FARMER'S FAMILY? Of course they played with the dog a great deal, & animals transmit human diseases. What other animals did they come in contact with? (Maria: They went to the country club & the farm across from it, but I don't think they touched any of the animals.) They were outdoors there, weren't they? (Maria: Both of those places.)

18. WERE THERE ANY OTHER CHILDREN OR PEOPLE THERE with whom they could have come in contact, touched or breathed their breath? (Maria: No.) I heard there was somebody. (Maria: There was a guy on a motorcycle quite a distance away, & then across the road at the country club there were finally at the very end two girls riding horses‚ but they didn't get close to them.)

19. WELL, WITHOUT ANY OUTSIDE CONTACT WHATSOEVER, there are diseases that if your resistance gets down & they get overly tired & under-rested or nourished or whatever‚ you open the floodgates to infection which is already present in your body, but which your strength & resistance has kept you from.

20. WHEN YOU GET OVER-TIRED, UNDERNOURISHED & CHILLED, THOSE ARE THE THREE PRIMARY FACTORS. If that disease is already present in your body, those germs are there, you open the floodgates of your low resistance, succumbing to that infection & succumbing to the disease & becoming sick—usually a result of being overly-tired‚ weakened resistance & a chill. Usually it's a cold or the flu in the Wintertime.

21. THE SO-CALLED COMMON COLD, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, FREQUENTLY IS NOT UNCOMMONLY THE EARLY STAGE OF SOME NEW DISEASE‚ childhood disease or even adult flu, etc. So it's not to be sneezed at or laughed about or underestimated when you catch a cold! It could just be the prelude to something worse, such as a little sneeze by our dear Maria right now!

22. AND OF COURSE PERMITTING A CHILD TO BECOME UNDERNOURISHED‚ OVERTIRED, CHILLED & EVEN INFECTED by a disease is normally not the child's fault, but the fault of the parent or his caretaker. And here again‚ as the Scriptures say, the child is subject to the disease as a result of the sins of the fathers, or mothers, or caretakers, either one or both!

23. AND IT IS USUALLY, OF COURSE, THE PARENTS OR NURSES WHO SUFFER THE MOST WHEN A CHILD IS SICK. The child suffers too, of course, but it suffers only physical pain‚ whereas the parent suffers a spiritual guilt & a psychological pain which can even be almost more painful, knowing that the parent or caretaker is at fault & guilty.

24. WELL, I WOULD SAY THAT COMING IN CONTACT WITH OTHER CHILDREN WHO ARE BEARERS OF CONTAGIOUS DISEASES IS OUR FAULT. If we permit our children to either go to public school with strangers or to go downtown shopping in the infested sickening contaminated polluted Worldly atmosphere of the city & in proximity or actual contact with other children & strangers, I would say that this is our fault.—Unless by law or some-how we are forced to do so or some circumstances over which we have no control—such as in litnessing, witnessing, shoe or clothing fitting, etc.

25. I TRIED TO KEEP MY CHILDREN OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS AS MUCH AS I COULD & I avoided having them inoculated & tried to keep them away from other Worldly children as much as possible. Of course, it isn't always possible, & sometimes it's impossible to avoid contact with outsiders & their diseases. But one of the best ways to avoid it, even if we have to come in proximity to them, is to keep up our own resistance & our children's resistance by sufficient rest, sufficient food & sufficient clothing to avoid chilling.

26. (MARIA: WELL, WE OURSELVES SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD POLICY FOR OUR FAMILY CHILDREN TO ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL IN MANY CASES.) Public school has its advantages, particularly for very busy mothers & fathers. As the children grow older they may feel insufficient to educate them & perhaps their own education is somewhat limited & they do not feel that they have the capacity of a teacher, or the time, & they feel they haven't really the ability to teach their own children, particularly as the children get older.

27. WE HAVE SUGGESTED THAT PERHAPS THEY COULD SEND THEM TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IF NECESSARY & that would help relieve their burden & their task and help the children at least educationally & even help sometimes in them becoming one with the natives of the land in which they're living as missionaries. But of course then you always run the risk of contamination & infection of disease to which children are very subject. (Maria: But like you said, if you go out litnessing & witnessing amongst other children‚ you're not going to avoid it either.)

28. NORMALLY MOST OF OUR WITNESSING & LITNESSING AT LEAST IS OUTDOORS in the wide-open outdoor spaces where there's fresh air & sunshine & a breeze that carries away the germs, & we're not as likely to get infected in the outdoors street & park witnessing & litnessing as indoors, such as cafe singing‚ etc. My guess is, normally the cafe singing is at night to adults, with few or no children present—who are usually the infectors & the guilty carriers of childhood diseases—so that's not even as great a risk.

29. BUT OF COURSE VERY CLOSE CONTACT WITH CHILDREN IN PUBLIC, even in a public park, if they touch fingers or the same item as the literature or the play equipment or the toys, especially in a store or market or shopping‚ if they touch the same thing some infected child has just touched it's quite possible for them to get contaminated & infected. So everything's got its advantages & disadvantages, & we can't completely isolate ourselves always. We're not of this World, but we are in it & frequently subject to it & its woes, ills & diseases.

30. AND THEN OF COURSE THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES, ILLNESSES & AFFLICTIONS WHICH ARE NOT OF NATURAL CAUSES WHATSOEVER, but are of supernatural causes, attacks of the Enemy, afflictions of the Devil which are strictly Satanic. These can come without any contact with the public whatsoever or public schools or parks or witnessing or litnessing or anything. It can simply be a complete supernatural attack of demonic forces.

31. THESE NORMALLY ARE NOT NORMAL CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES HOWEVER. They can be oppressions or depressions or psychological attacks, fear, phobias‚ nightmares‚ actual demonic attacks of various kinds. Even perhaps bed-wetting, which is sometimes psychological. However even these sometimes are the result of the sins of the parents & failure to instil sufficient faith in the child, sufficient Word to fight the good fight of faith, sufficient love & reassurance to take away fear, & therefore leave a child open to the attacks of the Enemy.

32. OR THEY SOMETIMES ARE THE ATTACKS OF THE ENEMY ALLOWED BY GOD AS PUNISHMENT ON THE PARENTS FOR THEIR SINS. It's obvious that in very young children‚ whatever it is, is not the result of the sin of the child. I'm sorry to say, parents, that whatever your children are sick with or whatever their affliction, in young children especially under the age of 5, 6 or 7, it's usually your fault somehow.

33. THEY ARE NOT REALLY OLD ENOUGH TO BE SINFUL OR HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY, but you have, & God often afflicts you through your children, punishes you through your children & hurts you through your children, chastises you through your children, in order to correct you, when all else fails!

34. BECAUSE EVEN WHEN ALL OTHER CORRECTIONS FAIL, He's afflicted you & you've been sick, had an accident, had monetary problems or all kinds of things & it still hasn't worked, sometimes—knowing that you love your children so much & that's where it really hurts—sometimes He will allow the Enemy then to attack you through the illness of your own children. He knows this is your soft spot, your Achilles heel where He can finally get through to you when all else fails, & where it's not at all the child's fault but your fault because of your sins.

35. SO THEREFORE THE QUESTIONS WHEN A CHILD FALLS SICK THAT I WOULD IMMEDIATELY ASK: Has he been having sufficient rest? Sufficient food? Sufficient warm clothing in cold weather? Has he been chilled at any time lately? Gotten overtired? Undernourished? Or in contact with this evil World & its people through which he could have got infected—or all of them put together?

36. IS THE CHILD HIMSELF OLD ENOUGH THAT GOD COULD BE DEALING WITH HIM SPIRITUALLY FOR HIS SINS, or is the child suffering because of your sins & your failures‚ your shortcomings, your insufficient care & protection‚ provision, or your outright wickedness & sins for which God has permitted the poor child to suffer in order to try to get through to you as a final last avenue to try to touch your heart & get you to repent for your own iniquity!

37. I'VE SEEN WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS MANY TIMES, He afflicts you financially & even adult sickness & accidents, etc., & it didn't do the trick. But boy, I'll tell you, when God finally allows the Enemy to touch your child, that's your tender spot, your sore spot & that really gets a quick reaction!

38. ALTHOUGH I'VE KNOWN SOME PEOPLE SO INSENSIBLE & SO CALLOUSED & SO HARDENED that even the sickness of their child has not brought them to repentance, & sometimes God has taken a child completely, in death, out of a home where the parents are that wicked & iniquitous & disobedient as to be leading even the child astray!

39. GOD HAS REMOVED THE CHILD FROM THAT HOME‚ & then this is usually the parents' last chance. If through the death of a child or loved one they still do not repent, then that's usually the end of God's mercy & the end of His child training & chastening & trying to get people to repent & change.

40. IF THE SUFFERING OF YOUR OWN CHILD, the sickness & pain of your own child won't touch your hardened, rebellious, disobedient heart & cause you to repent & change & confess & determine to follow God, then certainly you are a very tough hard case with which God can do hardly anything. He may take the child out of your care because you don't deserve it & you would be a bad influence on it, & then permit you to go ahead to your own doom‚ whatever it may be.

41. SO ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, CHILDHOOD DISEASES ARE NEARLY ALWAYS OUR OWN FAULT IN SOME WAY, the sins of the parents‚ neglect, lack of proper care & attention, or the direct dealing of God with us & our adult sins through the suffering & pain of our children to try to touch our hearts & get us to repent. When we wouldn't repent for our own sake, quite often we'll at least repent for our child's sake‚ to save the child.

42. WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN MORE THAN OUR SELVES AS A RULE, & we will finally say "Uncle" when God judges the child! This was the thing that finally got through to King David when all the others of God's dealings failed. But when God finally allowed the Child to become sick, then David fasted & prayed & repented. And when God took the child & it died, then David really really repented & confessed & finally made things right with the Lord! (See 2Samuel 12.)

43. IT WAS A GREAT SIN, IT WAS A GREAT DEALING OF GOD WITH HIM FOR HIS INIQUITY, but it was also a great repentance, & as a result, a great forgiveness. But it cost him that child of the woman he loved the most, the wife that was dearest to him, Bathsheba! But praise God, as a result of his repentance through having gone through that soul agony of the loss of that first child of Bathsheba that he loved dearly, God forgave & in His mercy gave him another one named Solomon, who became a very great king, the wisest & richest Israel ever knew! So, PTL!

44. IF THE CHILD IS OLD ENOUGH‚ GOD MAY BE DEALING WITH THE CHILD HIMSELF for his naughtiness & disobedience & rebelliousness, stubbornness, sassiness or lack of respect or neglect in various ways, the same as an adult. But if a child is so young it's hardly to blame & could hardly even be conscious that he has sinned or done anything wrong‚ then it's most likely the fault of the parent or the childcare worker, & God is dealing with them for their sins—either for the neglect or abuse of the child, improper care & not making sure that it got enough rest, food, warm clothing or whatever‚ & was not protected sufficiently from this evil World & its infectious contacts.

45. THEN GOD'S DEALING WITH THE PARENT OR THE CHILDCARE WORKER & IS PUNISHING THEM, chastening them & chastising them in a way that it really hurts for their own failure which has caused the child to become sick. So what is it? Which is it? Whose fault is it? If your child is sick you had better get down & get busy & really pray & ask God for the answer & to forgive you if it's your failure in any way, your neglect or your direct responsibility & your fault, your sin!

46. OR IF THE CHILD IS SUFFICIENTLY OLD ENOUGH, IS IT THE CHILD'S FAULT THROUGH HIS DISOBEDIENCES? Did he run outside without his coat or stay too long in the water & got chilled or didn't eat like he was told to or refused to take his nap or various other things that could have caused it. Or he went & played with little Johnny next door when he was told not to, he might have whooping cough or something‚ & then therefore God is allowing the child to reap what it deserves because of its wilful disobedience & defiance of parental authority.

47. IN WHICH CASE, IF IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT AS A PARENT & GOD IS NOT DEALING WITH YOU & the child is old enough to understand & to be reckoned with, you should be dealing with the child & reminding him of his sins: "You ran across the street when we told you not to, that's why you got hit. You ate that poison fruit when we told you not to, that's why you got sick. You played with Johnny next door when we told you not to‚ or you didn't eat your dinner like we told you, or you didn't take your nap like we told you, or you didn't put your jacket on when you went outside like we told you‚ so now you're sick. You reaped what you sowed & you're suffering for your own sins, even though a child, but old enough to understand that."

48. IF THEY'RE OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THAT, THEN THEY HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY & can possibly be suffering for their own sins, in which case the parent or childcare worker needs to deal with the child about it & bring them to the point of recognition of their sin, confession of their sin‚ repentance from their sin, prayer to ask God to forgive them, & then finally laying on of hands or anointing of oil for healing, having confessed their sins & God promising them that if they have committed sins they shall be forgiven them. "Who healeth all thy diseases & forgiveth all thine iniquities." (Ja.5:14-16; Ps.103:3.)

49. I CAN REMEMBER MANY TIMES WHEN I WAS A SMALL BOY, A CHILD, MY MOTHER DEALING WITH ME ABOUT MY NAUGHTINESS‚ & when I got sick‚ dealing with me & teaching me that it was possibly or probably or definitely a result of my own naughtiness. So I was reared & taught as a regular customary thing that if we got sick, the first thing was to ask ourselves‚ "What have I done personally to cause this illness? What have I done?

50. "WHAT NATURAL LAW HAVE I BROKEN?—Lack of rest, lack of food, getting chilled, contact with the World, all kinds of things. Or what spiritual law have I broken? What spiritual naughtiness have I been partaker of that God is dealing with me about?" I was taught that since I was a child.—Have you taught yours?

51. IT'S NOT ALWAYS SARA & ALFRED'S FAULT OR OURS, HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO BE DEALT WITH FOR HIS OWN SINS if for any reason there is anything in which he has been rebellious or stubborn or disobedient or sinful in any way. A child, 5 years old‚ a sinner?—Yes!—If he's been naughty, disobedient, rebellious, stubborn, wilful & done something he knows he shouldn't! Yes, he's a sinner!

52. DEAR AARON USED TO TESTIFY THIS BEFORE GREAT CROWDS. Ex-hippies, drugsters & all would be giving these gruesome gory testimonies about how wicked they'd been & how they'd been in drugs & crime & vice & filth & everything, & then been so gloriously delivered & saved.

53. AND AARON WOULD GET UP‚ HE WHO HAD BEEN REARED IN A GOOD CHRISTIAN FAMILY & taught of the Lord & received the Lord since he was a little child & virtually never been anything like that at all, never even hardly been in contact with people who had been in that sort of thing until he started witnessing to the hippies.

54. HE'D GET UP & SAY, "I WAS A WICKED, FILTHY, DIRTY, VILE, INIQUITOUS‚ SINFUL SINNER UNTIL THE AGE OF FIVE WHEN I RECEIVED JESUS CHRIST FOR MY SAVIOUR!" So there you are, that's the facts. That's the facts, Ma'am! So now the point is to fix the blame, who's the guilty sinner?—You or the child or perhaps even both? Hmm? Who's God dealing with?—You or the child or both?—Or maybe even others & all of us, because of some failures or sins or problems in the family.

55. SO MAY THE LORD HELP US & MAY THE LORD FORGIVE US & MAY THE LORD DELIVER US in order that He might also deliver you & in order that He might deliver the child from this affliction or this disease or this sickness, this weakness, whatever it is, caused by either the sins of his fathers, us, or his own sins.

56. IN A FEW RARE CASES, AS THE LORD SAID IN ONE CASE, IT WAS NOT THE SIN OF THE FATHER NOR HIS SON, but that the Lord be glorified through his healing. (Jn.9:3.) But don't always take that excuse & that out, however, as 99% of the time it's your fault or his fault or both! So pray & ask the Lord to forgive & deliver & cleanse & purify & make things right & correct the problems‚ & usually the Lord will then heal.—Amen

57. AND OF COURSE CALL FOR THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH & OTHERS THAT IT MIGHT BE A TESTIMONY & lay hands on or anoint or both, for the healing of the child, & before the whole Family or Home, so the it will be a testimony when the Lord does answer prayer. In Jesus' name, amen

58. IS YOUR CHILD SICK? WHY?—Is it your fault or his?—It's not God's, so don't blame Him! Blame the guilty sinner!—Either you or the child, & ask God to forgive & deliver & heal!—Amen? GBY! He loves you!—That's why He's dealing we you & chastising you in Fatherly love—To correct & change you & make you better child!—Amen? Be sorry & quit! Confess & repent & obey & love Him & others & He'll heal! GBY!