Desirous Doubter

For over five decades I’ve prayed religiously—

I’ve prayed for the restoration of the atrophied muscles in my right leg, injured in a skill saw injury at the age of eighteen. The nerve was severed, and despite a surgical and rehabilitative process, I currently contend with the consternation of a foot-drop condition.

My preference for cowboy boots is rooted in the supportive role they play in minimizing the handicap by keeping the foot from dropping as it would in a typical shoe.

For all those decades I have stumbled over “invisible” elements, resulting in both minor physical injuries and major psychological embarrassment.

As I approach my mid-seventies, other maladies and conditions have surfaced: Heart disease (resulting in a bypass operation), deafness, arthritis, and unrelenting sleep challenges.

I pray for all of these conditions. And I have experienced healing in some of those conditions. Yet, despite the seeming randomness of God’s answers, I remain unwavering in my belief that God heals. He heals in this life! Now! In the physical realm!

Healing is for here! Heaven is for wholeness!

Additionally, it is not failing faith that may result in our entering heaven having never embraced the promise of complete physical and emotional healing. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Hebrews 11:13 (New Living Translation, NLT)

The incongruity is that God seems more focused on revealing than healing!

It is in the midst of the myriad malaise and messes of our lives that God reveals Himself. In seemingly random, but righteous serendipities, He intervenes in the persistence of our particular pain with a poignant reminder of His presence, power, and peace, and we are comforted for a season with knowing that we know the reality of the promises of His Word.

Thomas was more desirous than doubter!

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” John 20:25 (New Living Translation, NLT)

God desires that, despite our doubts, we thrust our hands upward toward heaven where Jesus sits at God’s side. Therein lies the revealing of our ultimate healing—our hope on earth of our ultimate wholeness in heaven!

Originally posted July 2018

Thursday night at a weekly singles meeting, I went up to receive communion, anointing with oil and prayer. I hobbled into the meeting with severe pain in my right hip area. I had suddenly developed what I believe to have been severe tendonitis in the right hip the day before. The reason I concluded that it was tendonitis is that I had it in my left hip some years ago. It lasted for what I remember as weeks. Sometimes I could barely get into my car.

By this morning ALL PAIN AND DISCOMFORT are gone! I don’t even remember who prayed for me, but she also had a strong word over me about new things beginning. It was just yesterday that I also sold a fine art print, the first in years!

I’ve been a believer since I was seven! I’ve always believed in healing, even physical! I pray, almost daily, for my litany of ills: Nearly deaf left ear, right foot drop (from a skill saw accident at 18), arthritis in neck, sleep apnea, and even the repopulation of my frontal thinning hair! Yeah, I do that!

And my conditions pale in comparison to friends and acquaintances whose needs range from near death to cancer. But God is not keeping score of our needs compared to other people’s needs. And most of the time He chooses not to heal us physically. And, no, it is mostly NOT because we had too little faith or too much sin!

His desire revolves around wanting to REVEAL more than to HEAL! At times He chooses to HEAL to REVEAL. And at other times He REVEALS and HEALS! And most of the time I don’t know WHAT He is doing!

But I do know that He enjoins us to trust Him for DAILY manna and not to be caught up in storing up His provision for the rainy day. He promises to rain on us daily. That rain may not contain the sustenance we had hoped and prayed for, but it is PERFECT for His PURPOSES on any of those particular days!

So let us not begin a new movement based on what His latest provision is to us. Let us merely rejoice that He showed up with a glimpse of glory to remind us of His loving intentions in bringing us into more profound connection with Him and each other.

“Thank You, Lord, for healing my right hip. Thank You for reminding me of Your new purposes in my life today. Thank You for this new, loving body of single believers. Amen!”

14-16a If anyone is ill he should send for the Church elders. They should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. Believing prayer will save the sick man; the Lord will restore him, and any sins that he has committed will be forgiven. You should get into the habit of admitting your sins to each other, and praying for each other, so that if sickness comes to you, you may be healed.

16b-18 Tremendous power is made available through a good man’s earnest prayer. Do you remember Elijah? He was a man like us but he prayed earnestly that it should not rain. In fact, not a drop fell on the land for three and a half years. Then he prayed again, the heavens gave the rain and the earth sprouted with vegetation as usual. James 5:14-18, J.B. Phillips New Testament translation

(edited 6/28/2016)

The Revealing, Healing God