Susanne over at http://meditativemeanderings.blogspot.com/ introduced me to an amazing story that a lady wrote telling how she explained being chronically ill to a friend. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf
I can totally concur with this description. Over the last 13 years of my rheumatoid arthritis I have just about come to grips with knowing on a daily basis how many 'spoons' I am holding. Some days it is more than others. Some days I do have to knowingly borrow into another days aware that there is no way I will every 'steal' some more from somewhere, there is always payback.
Like Job in the bible, I sometimes have my moments of frustration as to why God feels it is necessary for me to go through having RA! However I do also have days of knowing that I rely on Him so much more in all parts of my life because of it and for that I can be extremely thankful. Again like Job I do not need others to give me their 'knick-knack wisdom' (Job Chapter 13 verse 12 The Message version). Others may have experiences similar to mine, but no one else has my experience. If I was given the choice of a healthy body and no faith, or a sick body and faith, I would not even have to begin to think about it I would go for the faith EVERY time.