Yesterday was the anniversary of the car accident that left me differently-abled. I am grateful to be walking and that, once my hair grew back in, I was not left with visible scars but I do live with limitations; both physical and cognitive. Which brings me to what I want to discuss in this series of posts: I say I have a relationship with Jesus…why then am I not healed?
2 Corinthians 1: 20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God”. There are many promises of healing I could quote from both the Old and New Testaments but, for the sake of brevity, I’m going to focus on Exodus 15: 26 which states, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you.” If He is the Lord who heals me and this promise is “yes” in Jesus, then I should be able to expect healing, right?
And, it does seem Exodus lays out the rules for receiving healing. IF I pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, THEN He will heal me. I have attempted to pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees. I attended churches (not forsaking the assembling like Hebrews 10:25 says!) and attempted to do what they told me to do. I read my bible, attended multiple services per week, and devoted time to prayer. Then, I would miss a day of reading or a prayer time. Since I could not do these simple things on a regular basis, how could I expect God to heal me?
I sought healing through biblical methods. I had hands laid on me, was anointed with oil, stood in healing lines, and was prayed over. One traveling evangelist insisted that if he laid hands on me I WOULD be healed so I imagine my disappointment when he did so and I was not. Of course then the fault was mine because “a double-minded person is unstable in all they do” and “such a person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1: 8 and 7) so my still being in pain caused me to doubt which meant I didn’t really trust God and didn’t have any faith so He could not heal me. I had these things said to me.
Then I realized that, if I was following the rule laid down in Exodus, all I had to do was pay attention to His commands and keep His decrees. What simplicity! Jesus only left me with one: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) Well, has anyone else tried this? Have you found it as difficult a command to keep as I have? Failure after failure after failure. No wonder I didn’t have my healing! How could God heal someone who so consistently fell short of His standards of behavior?!
Have any of you been subjected to this? If you have, know I empathize with you. I have been trapped in this never-ending cycle of just not being good enough to please God and finally receive of His promises. I was already tired from the effects of the car accident and all this striving only made me more so. Then, I had a life crisis so devastating I was certain I could not and never had heard from God. I had failed Him so completely I should just curl up and die so He could send me to hell and get it over with. It was in this place that I met God! The living God. The gentle, loving Father who so desired a relationship with me, He sent Jesus into my darkness and death to get me and bring me out. (John 3:16 and especially 17!, John 17: 3, Ephesians 2: 4-7)
My feet were set on a new path and I began to get to know The Father. I do not say the path has been easy. In fact, it felt like the moment my Father began to show me who He was, the floodgates of hell were opened in my life. Even though…through every devastating circumstance, my Father has revealed a little more of Himself to me and I have been filled with awe and wonder.
But still I struggled with limitations from the car accident and, as the years went by, I developed other health problems. I prayed about them, tried to “Amen” all the promises of God, and received no miraculous healing. I ended up having a major surgery and afterwards had the opportunity to speak with a close friend. I told her how I had prayed leading up the surgery-that I would be spared having to go through it-and how the answer I had received had been “no”. I told my friend that, while I could accept the no, I had expected things to be different. It had been years since I’d come to know The Father in a new way and I’d expected I would level up somehow: like in a spiritual video game.
We both laughed at that but, after hanging up with her, I continued to think about it. That had been my expectation: that with greater understanding came greater blessings. Wasn’t that the rule? Within a few months of this conversation, I had to have another minor procedure. I threw up my spiritual hands. Whatever the secret was, I clearly had not discovered it.
Again, while a painful place to be, it is not a bad place to be. It has been my experience over the last seventeen years that these valleys of deepest darkness are where my Father’s light shines brightest. And so it proved.
To be continued…
Bible verses are quoted from the New International Version