I’m sitting here writing this, wracked with coughing and fever, down for the count with a nasty cold/flu/mystery illness. My husband has patiently tended to me through the weekend, bringing me food, shooing the children away, folding laundry, praying over me and with me. He is taking the day off tomorrow to give me a chance to get into the doctor without the children. What a blessing… I made it to church this morning, but could tell it was the wrong choice as worship began. Oh, those chills…and their not-so-subtle way of making you feel just bad enough to be grumpy. Pray for me to be made well…in whatever manner the Lord sees fit.
Anyway, it’s ironic that I’m so sick and writing this post about healing. I am in desperate need of it myself, so perhaps the Lord is teaching me even more and on a deeper level. And you will just have to forgive me if I ramble a bit…it’s the fever, folks. My11 month old niece, Grace was scheduled to have surgery this week. They discovered in an ultrasound before she was born that she had one kidney not functioning quite properly. Over time, they monitored her condition and came to the conclusion that she needed to have the duct work repaired leading from her kidney to urethra. We offered to keep Grace’s older sister Lilly during and after her surgery to help my brother and sister-in-law focus on their baby. We talked to them Monday evening (the day before surgery) and I prayed with them. I don’t know where they are in the Lord…but, they wanted us to pray. Needed to hear the soothing balm of the Lord’s promises and name. When my mom called Tuesday at noon, I assumed that she was letting me know that little Grace was in surgery. Not so. The doctor had reviewed her preoperative scans and discovered that she was fine. Not just fine…healed. He signed her release forms and my brother and sister-in-law were on their way out the door. A miracle…undeniably, a miracle.
We rejoiced…I mean, I raced to the computer and sent an e-mail to our prayerful church body, letting them in on God’s good work! After a quick call to Charlie and my in-laws–who I knew were also fervently praying–I spent time thanking the Lord for His graciousness. Later that evening, after all the kids were in bed, a question came into my head: Why, Lord? Why did You choose to heal Grace in this way instead of the way that seemed planned? And why did you choose to heal Samuel in a different way? And why don’t You heal everyone?
They weren’t angry questions. Just questions. Everyone thinks them, but not many believers will put a voice to them. I think we’re afraid that it means we don’t have real faith in God. Well, I have faith. But, I also have questions. And being the good parent He is, God gave me just a little nugget of wisdom, sufficient knowledge to light my path:
Whatever God does and the manner He does it in are designed to bring Him the greatest glory and show us the greatness of His love for us.
We prayed and agonized over Samuel’s condition for weeks and weeks and spent hours and hours over his isolette begging God to touch his little body and spare him from any pain, and discomfort…even from death itself. But in His wisdom, God knew that walking through that shadowy valley would make His love so plain to us. And He would be so glorious in both the valley and on the mountain peak just beyond. Healing Grace without the need for medical intervention accomplished the same. He is an all-powerful God, able to do anything. Nothing is too difficult for Him. And He loves us…He hurts with us…He is gracious. Whether they fully realize it or not, God poured His grace and mercy out on my brother and his family Tuesday. And He reminded our church family that He is able…He is so able.
I don’t know what you are struggling with. I know I feel just terrible right now, like my body can hardly take another moment of discomfort. But I want God to be glorified in this. Yes, even in my weakness. In my grumpiness. In the zillion tissues tossed all over my bed. In my whining and complaining. I want God to be bigger, greater, more powerful to me than before. I want to be reminded of His great love for me. I want to offer myself–yes, even allow my sickness to be used as a tool, as refining fire to make me more pleasing to Him, more reflective of His character. I want to be small. I want to feel the smallness that comes from sitting at the feet of my Maker and knowing that He is in total, loving control. I want to know that letting go really, truly is letting God.
I know some of you reading are thinking, “But God doesn’t make us sick.” True. He doesn’t. But He allows it. Sometimes, I wish He didn’t. Sometimes, I can’t understand why He would allow it…the suffering, the wounding, the tearing apart. But, He does. Yet, He also brings glory through it and His love. Often in a way that we could never have imagined. In a way that He can use to touch and minister to another. In a way that brings healing…of the spiritual sense. That kind of healing is always available. There is never a time when He won’t heal our souls.
God, You are so good. I know You are. I am amazed at how freely You offer healing to our wounded spirits. Help me to ask more often. Help me to know when I should ask. Thank You for healing Samuel and Grace and for the very different, but equally wonderful ways that You did. May both testimonies bring You glory and reveal Your love for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.