I AM A GOD WHO HEALS.
Those are the first six words I read from my daily devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
And they got my attention.
But what awakened my spiritual slumber are the words in the last paragraph: I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life. Even my servant Paul was told, “My grace is sufficient for you,” when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Wow! So that must mean that no matter how mighty our faith or how shiny our halo, we’re not always gonna get what we ask God for.
As a kid, I had faith; lots of faith. Or, at least I thought I did until a boy accidentally broke my glasses as we were horsing around on the church bus.
Great! What am I gonna tell mom and daddy who can barely put food on the table let alone buy another pair of glasses? What am I gonna do? I’m as blind as a bat without them.
So, with all the faith a ten-year-old could muster, I pressed my glasses together, squeezed my eyes shut, and prayed, “Lord. You gotta fix my glasses. You can do it! I know you can!”
You can imagine my disappointment when I opened my eyes and realized my glasses were still just as broken as they were before I asked God to magically put them back together again.
As a child, it didn’t matter that it was just a pair of glasses. They were broken and I knew and believed with all my heart and soul that God had the power to fix them.
But He didn’t.
And when the family walked side by side with my sister down the church aisle to pray for her healing, we had faith that God could do it. Yet, cancer claimed her life anyway.
But God healed my brother years ago from a heart condition caused by rheumatic fever and my baby brother from a bowel obstruction immediately following the pastor’s prayers when he came to the house. He even healed my mother right before she was wheeled down to surgery. The X-ray proved the mass was gone!
I don’t know the mind of God; why He heals one person and not another. But I do know that no one has the right to tell anyone that healing doesn’t come because of a person’s lack of faith.
I saw this happen once when a group of Christians gathered around a young woman with MS slumped in a wheelchair, scolding her for not having enough faith to get up and walk! And I was so proud when our assistant pastor marched his small, indignant frame toward the holier than thou group and boldly put an end to their vicious bullying.
In my own life, like those broken pair of glasses, God doesn’t magically put my brokenness back together. It’s been a long, painful, drawn-out process of anger and frustration, of jerking away and running back. A roller coaster ride of failures and victories, tears and laughter, sadness and joy. Walking the green mile through depression, anxiety, and fear. A never-ending cycle of I’m okay, I’m not okay and maybe I’ll never be okay.
Yes, the struggle is just too much at times. But, it’s through the grueling struggles, not the instant healing that God reveals His endless love and care and mercy toward me. It’s through my quiet times with Him and the tears rolling down my face, and His light shining in the dungeon of darkness, revealing my weaknesses, my stubbornness, my fears, anger, and rage; all the prickly, painful thorns that keep me dependent on Him. Without those struggles, I may never know how much God wants me for Himself. I may never know His love and protection. And I may die not ever knowing a father’s love.
So, the way I see it, healing is not healing if it separates me from God; If it causes me to develop a doctor-patient relationship where the doctor heals and the patient doesn’t need him or her anymore.
It’s horrifying to think that everything I ask God for would sever our relationship if He gave it to me!