Have you had a serious disease, chronic illness or had a loved one whose pain and suffering seemed endless? Then I am sure that you have prayed about the situation, or someone else has prayed for you. Perhaps you have gone to the front of the church to be anointed with oil, as the Bible tells us to do. Perhaps you were healed immediately, the situation was resolved or over time your family member regained their health. Perhaps you saw no apparent difference at all. Perhaps the illness got worse or that person passed away.
We don’t always know the answer as to why God answers with a “Yes”, a “Later” or a “No” but we do know that regardless of the circumstance, who He is does not change. He is a God of Love, a God of Healing and a God who is in charge of the whole universe. Can He heal? Unequivocally, YES. Does He always? No. An Almighty God who would allow His only Son to die for people He created will not always spare us pain in order that we would experience His best for us.
When I began my journey of chronic illness, I prayed for relief of immediate symptoms. I prayed that the overpowering cloud of fatigue would be lifted, my breathing and vertigo would be taken away and I would have the strength to live normally again. Then other issues developed. I found myself crying out in the night for relief of joint and muscle pain and for the simple pleasure of a full night’s sleep.
Throughout these months, God has worked through my doctors and medications to resolve some issues. I thank Him that my respiratory issues are under control. Other symptoms have not resolved and have indeed worsened. New issues have developed and I find myself sometimes growing weary of this road.
It’s when I’m growing discouraged that the Lord has me look back over the last 19 months and see through His eyes how I have changed through this illness. The more time I had to just sit and read His Word, the more He has developed in me a love for it and a greater understanding of the Scriptures. I know that it is necessary to instill that Word in my mind and my heart. Despite my difficulty with short-term memory, I’ve pinned up on my wall various verses that I want to remember, and I read them daily.
The Lord has taught me to commune with Him on an increasingly deeper level, whether it is through writing my thoughts to Him in a prayer journal or using the time of weakness and fatigue to just lie down and talk to Him. He uses His music to calm and soothe my soul and to literally change my thoughts and emotional reactions. He uses His people to email me and let me know that He, God Almighty, is in control of my life.
I don’t always have days where I am able to see through the discouragement and depression to see His Hand working. There are some days that I find it very difficult to talk to the Lord because of my thoughts and moods. But I know He understands those days too. He just waits until I seek Him again and He floods my heart with His love and peace. Sometimes He uses a specific verse from the Bible to speak to me in a new way and I know He is working in my life.
I have been reading Psalm 119 and although it seems on the surface that it is a song about God’s instructions to us, many of the writers make the comment that they were ‘afflicted’ or ‘in pain’ when they learned to love God’s law. Maybe that’s what it takes for some of us to have the time to really immerse our minds and hearts in the Word of God.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2) This verse is often misquoted as a basis that all believers should be rich and healthy, but our physical and earthly prosperity is secondary to the eternal health of our soul. The Lord is more interested in our relationship with Him than He is in our temporary, physical health.
Over these months of pain and fatigue, my prayer has changed from asking God to heal various physical symptoms, to asking Him to touch my life in a way that will make an eternal difference, by healing my soul and drawing me closer to Him. He is healing me where it counts, not necessarily where it hurts. And that is worth the journey.
Reality Check By Lorraine Walker
Questions? Comments? Do you need healing or have experienced healing? Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org