Pain is a part of life. For most of us believers, when we came to Jesus, we came with expectation and the hope of being healed, made whole, and set free from that pain. Yet, for many still, the places in our lives that have been broken, after years of imploring God for our wholeness, remain fractured.
I can be the first to admit that it is difficult to not allow bitterness and offense to take root in our hearts in those moments. How can we trust the God we believe in, the one in whom we claim is good, the one in whom we have placed our hope? If what we believe is true of His character, where is the healing in which we have fasted and prayed? The healing we have sought out many doctors and ministers alike for answers to our questions and our doubts?
I am with you, the ones who ask on a daily basis when they will see the miracles that are promised in the Bible. I have experienced great healing in my life, but I am still waiting for the finished work. I have had pain healed in my back and my knees; I have been healed of deep emotional pain from some very difficult and traumatic experiences. Nevertheless, I am still seeking God’s healing for so much more. I am still seeking Him for both physical and emotional pain. I am seeking him for healing in several life circumstances. I know that I am not alone in this. The biggest question that remains in my mind in these moments is this: Why does God sometimes heal people and sometimes not?
At some point along the way, as we grow in our walk with Jesus, we have to make the decision of what we are going to choose to believe about our God, even if the healing never comes. So much of this comes with time and experience, which equates to our maturity in understanding that God is forever good. We cannot settle for what we have been told by our parents, our pastors or our peers alone. We have to study His word, both the written word of scripture and the words He has spoken into our lives in the intimate moments spent with Him. We have to place what we know to be true above how we feel about our situations. I read somewhere once “if we are not anchored in the goodness of God, we will lower our theology to match our pain.” In our finite human minds, we must understand that we will never fully comprehend God’s ways, but if we know His character and His heart, then we may understand His motives.
I have learned over the years that God cares way more about what is best for His children in the long run than what we think we need in that instance. In short, He cares more about our character than He does our comfort. That being said, so often when we seek God’s mercy on behalf of our healing, He gives it, freely. Sometimes that healing comes in an instance, and sometimes that healing is a process. God knows which will be in our best interest at the proper time. Often times He will give us a minor glimpse of healing in order to build our faith to trust Him and believe for greater healing where it’s needed. What kind of Father would He be, if He only placed a bandage in the place that is in need of healing, only to leave us mortally wounded? (No pun intended). Regardless of how the healing comes, it will come. It just won’t always be when and how we expect it.
God doesn't want people to be healed and "whitewashed" on the outside while our hearts and emotions within us are still wounded and decaying. He wants all of you. Your whole being: body, spirit and soul; mind will and emotions to line up with His Kingdom. He doesn't just want you to be "fixed" in the physical; He wants you to have right thinking, and right behavior. He wants to set Heaven in our hearts so that it will be a reality in our worlds.
Every ailment we face in life is a physical manifestation of something beneath the surface, something emotional, and something spiritual. We as His children carry His heartbeat; we have the mind of Christ. We have accessed the rights as His children to tap into what is going on beyond what we see with our natural eyes, and view our circumstances with the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:17-23). In order to make us aware of this identity, with every part of us, He must correct the wounds and the lies that they have created about who we are, and about who He is.
Our God is the God who healed the blind, lame and lepers alike. He is the God who was lifted up, broken beyond comprehension so that we would not have to endure our own. He is the God that conquered Hell and Death so that they could not claim us. He wants us for His own. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. In all of this, a new question arises: If we are not receiving our healing, what is it that God trying to show us needs to happen to get there? Sometimes that is simply just a matter of timing, and sometimes, God wants to give us an opportunity to trust Him and grow in our faith.
I fear that far too many people in the Church have tried to force God’s hand into instantaneous healing because either they don’t understand His heart, or they are seeking the miracles above the one who works those miracles for our good. It’s easy to do in a culture where instant gratification seems to be the norm. And often times, those two go hand in hand. I have seen many individuals hurt by false promises of healing that have caused whatever hope they had turn to bitterness. When this happens, the healing is prolonged and often regressed. We must understand that God does not always move in the same way. We must also understand that unless we know God’s heart, we will never understand His will. There are seasons in life when the healing comes now, and seasons when it takes time. In the seasons where our healing comes little by little, we celebrate every victory and learn to love the process.
We press on believing in a hope that does not disappoint. Knowing that our God never changes and that He is good. Knowing that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not like ours. We press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us-- to be made completely whole. We must remember that in the moments when healing doesn’t come, when our circumstances do not change and things don’t play out in the manner that we think they should, that He is God and He is still good. Our hearts can stand in assurance that He is good. Even so, He is good.