It turns out that a lot of the time that I’m praying, it’s because I desperately want my comfortable, safe, little life. I had been dealing with some severe back pain and went to a prayer and healing meeting at our church. These are pretty rare, but I went. I was desperate and wanted relief and to have the back pain gone. At times it was incapacitating and I believe that Jesus is still a Healer. However, I wasn’t prepared for what happened. The small group that prayed with me was our youth pastor, Patrick, me, and my husband. It was unique because Patrick has the same exact injury that I was dealing with, so I thought: Yeah! He will really know how to pray for me!
I was shocked and disappointed when he prayed out loud, “God, we are asking for Your glory, for you to make Yourself famous, more than Christine’s comfort.” I was indignant. In my heart, not out loud. I was appalled that he didn’t just outright ask God to heal me. After all, that’s why I came! Then I had to ask myself, which one do I want more, my comfort, or God’s glory. Thankfully, the two can coexist. But at that moment, I had to really look at my heart and make a choice. Through clenched teeth (not really, but I did have to say it slowly and deliberately) I was able to give up my agenda of telling God what I wanted Him to do and how I wanted Him to perform, and seek whatever good He might want to bring if I was not healed. By the way, I didn’t experience immediate healing, but the back pain has gotten progressively better over the past several months.
Is God still a miracle worker? Yes. I’ve been dealing with this question all week because one of our kids has been in severe pain with an injury. Wow, that’s a hard prayer, to ask God for His glory more than our comfort. I’m not trying to be a martyr, but I do recognize that while I may think the best thing is for God to give the pain a holy zap, He knows what is really best. I don’t.
My friend emailed this verse as an encouragement. It’s written by the apostle Paul as he’s talking about a physical ailment that he’s suffering with: