Have you ever prayed for healing? Maybe you asked God to heal you, or a loved one.
Whether it was a silent plea to what felt like the air, or universe, or whether it was a prayer read aloud from the scripture, you can know that God hears and he cares.
Maybe you, like me, have battled disappointment with God.
If you have prayed earnestly and he didn’t answer your heartfelt requests, it can feel as if God has forgotten or forsaken you.
I know, as I’ve felt that way many times over the past several years.
Four years ago I began having a severe tremor that I’d never had before, and an increasing amount of terrible migraines. If I’m honest, I had never empathized with migraine sufferers before that. The searing pain along with sound and light sensitivity can be maddening and is debilitating.
Soon there were more symptoms. Electric type shocks in my hands and legs. Double vision that made it dangerous to drive, so my friends and kids began to drive me to do errands. My balance was off and I could be quite clumsy and have difficulty standing at times.
My family doctor and neurologist were terrific, although along the way I did see other doctors who implied that the symptoms may be psychological. Eventually, my husband went with me to the Mayo Clinic.
They prescribed a life-altering pair of glasses with a prism that helped correct the double vision. I couldn’t believe the difference and much of the time I could see clearly with the new prism glasses.
During all of this I did the fundamental things that I knew to do as a follower of Jesus. I had laid out my heart with God all of my unconfessed sin, and asked him to show me any sin I was unaware of.
I went to the elders of our church and asked them to anoint me with oil and pray for my healing as the Bible instructs us to do in James.
[James on prayer and healing]
Nonetheless, my healing didn’t come. For these years I wrestled with my beliefs of God. I had come to know God over a decade ago. I had begun to see his character through the scriptures and debunked many of the false ideas I’d had about who he really was.
I rightly began to believe that he is a good father and is always there, even when I don’t feel him or see him at work in my life. This reality stared right in the face of the reality that I wasn’t healed.
I knew and believed that God was able to miraculously heal me. Yet he hadn’t.
Enter disappointment with God. Self doubt and condemnation. Along with well-meant comments from others, this was a recipe for turmoil on my worst days. Did God forget about me? I know I deserve punishment for my sin. Is this as chastisement for something I’ve done?
A month ago I asked God again for healing. I felt a sensation, sort of a wave through my whole body. I shot up the question, “God, are you healing me?” and felt nothing else; heard nothing; sensed nothing.
Later that evening, I flipped my glasses up, then down. Up, then down. I was checking to see if my vision was healed. I wanted so badly for this to be the time. Yet I didn’t want the disappointment again. Nothing, no change.
I woke up the next morning blurry-eyed as usual. Although my vision wasn’t crystal clear, it was better without the glasses than with them! It’s been 5 weeks since then and my vision is still better! I’ve had a day when my vision was very blurry and doubled, yet it was still better without glasses.
Although I’ve still had an occasional migraine in the past five weeks, it is clear that healing is taking place in me. I stand on the truth of what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said in essence when they were commanded to bow down to a statue of God or be thrown into a fiery blaze:
God is able to deliver us from any fiery trial. Even if he does not, he is still worthy of our praise and he is good.
[The king spoke to the three] “But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
(Daniel 3:15 and following, emphasis mine.)
This is a call to persevere in your prayers. God loves you and is concerned with what concerns you.
God is good. Whether he answers our prayers the way we desire or not, his character and heart for us is good and loving. We can’t see everything and understand God’s ways, but we can trust the ancient and relevant words he has given us in the Bible when we don’t get it.
God is listening. God loves you and wants you to turn from self-reliance to relying on him when you are weak.
He is able to deliver and heal, and if not, he is still good.
To read more of this story in context, click here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%203&version=NIV