Psalm 16:8-11 (NIV)
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
I live in a constant dichotomy between yearning for Leah, wishing that she was here with me and knowing that where Leah is now, she is safe and loved to perfection by her Heavenly Father.
Recently the question of healing has come up several times in conversation with different people and I have been asked for my opinion.
I believe in divine healing and I believe that God still heals today. I also however believe that God is sovereign and that He alone decides who will be healed, not us.
There seems to be a huge emphasis on healing in some Christian circles these days. That’s great if you or your loved one receives healing, but what’s it like for those who move in these circles and who don’t receive healing for themselves or their nearest and dearest? Then, they not only have their illness or bereavement to contend with, they may also be left feeling like second class Christians, or worse still, like spiritual outcasts or rejects.
In 1985 a lovely friend of mine called Sandra was diagnosed with cancer. She was a pretty, popular girl, in her early twenties. A group of us immediately started getting together to pray for Sandra’s healing. Then, one young man announced that God “had given him a word” that Sandra was going to be healed. There was much excitement and rejoicing.
Except for me.
I felt like the odd one out.
I was so uneasy and uncomfortable.
How could I speak up?
How could I say what I really thought?
They would think I had very little faith.
They might even think I wasn’t a proper Christian.
Eventually I could stay quiet no longer.
I addressed the young man in question and I nervously said, “Has God really told you that Sandra is going to be healed, or can you just not believe in a God who would let Sandra die?”
Sadly my question was partially answered on the 12th August 1985 when Sandra went to be with her Heavenly Father, four months after receiving her diagnosis.
Before Sandra died, I visited her in hospital. I went in the hope of being a blessing, but I was the one who came away blessed. Sandra was weak and ill, but she just radiated peace and joy. The presence of God in her hospital room was almost tangible.
Why do some Christians become so fixated on healing as being the only possible option for their loved one?
Is it due in part to their inability to believe in a God who would let their loved one die?
Yet, for the believer, death is not the end, it’s a new beginning.
Yes the pain of missing Leah is awful.
Yes I cry every day.
I grieve for the fact that she wasn’t here to collect her Girl’s Brigade Queen’s Award recently.
I grieve that she isn’t right now sitting her AS exams.
I grieve that she isn’t heading off on an Exodus Team this Summer.
I will continue to grieve for every age and stage of development that we don’t get to experience with Leah.
Yet, I know that Leah is safe, I know that she is loved beyond my comprehension.
The Bible says that as believers, we need not grieve as those who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 )
I don’t grieve as those who have no hope.
I do have hope, but it still hurts.
Every day it hurts, really, really badly.
I’m learning not to fear pain, I’m learning to live with pain.
I’m also learning that He is sufficient for my every need.
4 thoughts on “The Healing Question”
You know my take on the subject. Well done for putting this out there for everybody to review their system of beliefs!xx
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Bless you, my dear. Praying and trusting that our loving God’s presence is especially close to you in your time of sorrow. You’ve hit upon an important point – God’s ways aren’t our ways, and His thoughts aren’t our thoughts, are they? The truth is that He DID heal your Leah – as you pointed out, she is now completely free of disease and so much healthier than we can imagine. I think it’s very much a Western idea that God wants His children to be healthy and wealthy. The truth is that His grace abounds in deepest waters…and maybe it abounds most of all when we’re nearly drowning, barely holding our heads above water while we hold onto Him with everything we have. Thank you for gently teaching us from the wisdom of your experience. I’m glad you linked up with us at Grace & Truth!
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Thank you for your encouraging words Jennifer. A phrase that you’ve used reminds me of the song “Oceans” – when Leah was very unwell during her treatment I used to get into her hospital bed beside her and cuddle her and together we listened to “Oceans” and it brought us comfort:
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now”