Sunday, August 8, 2010

The healing hand of God...

Last week, a lady I met told me a story of a couple she knew that had a baby prematurely and he was diagnosed with a lot of health problems. She said, “This couple REALLY prayed, I mean REALLY prayed, and their child was miraculously healed.“ It’s kind of hard to know how to respond to that. I mean, I am thankful that their precious baby was healed. But I could’t help walking away and feeling a little defeated and a lot disappointed. I know this lady in no way meant it this way, but I couldn't’t help but feel the suggestion that if we had prayed more, or prayed more earnestly, or had more faith, then maybe Mills would have been healed too. Some seem to suggest there is miraculous healing power out there for those that have enough faith to receive it. However those of us who didn’t get that miracle we wanted are left feeling our faith is deficient or God is somehow unwilling to perform a miracle.
Shortly after Mills died I read the passage in Mark about where Jesus healed the leper man. The man approached Jesus to be healed and said, If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” and then it says Jesus, “Moved with compassion, reached out and touched him. I am willing, be healed!” Mark 1 41:42. I remember the great sadness I felt when I read this story. In my heartbreak, I read the words “I am willing” and in my own ears I hear “I was not willing.” to heal your baby.

I know this is an age old question for Christians. Why does God choose to heal some and not others? Why are some shown temporary physical mercy and others not? What's so good about a God that allows so much suffering and pain? I remember the first time I questioned this many years ago when I was in college.. My dad’s best friend and a very well respected pastor in the area was diagnosed with ALS. He literally had armies around the world praying for his healing. Yet, he still died. Its kind of a let down, when this happens. He was a Godly man that spent his life serving the Lord. It’s like, “Wait a minute God, what did we do wrong?” You could have rocked this world for Christ if you had just chosen to heal him. We know you can, but are You willing?
The question resurfaced again throughout Mills’ life. We really struggled with knowing what to even pray. We finally found peace in praying for “God’s will” no matter what. Not just praying for him to live or be healed, just what the Lord saw was the best for Mills life to glorify Him. That’s a hard thing to pray, to let go of your own dreams for your child’s life. We'd like to think that the way God can get the most glory is by doing a miracle we have put on order. We'd much rather have Jesus display His power in our lives through the form of healing and wholeness, success and accomplishment. Not dependance and weakness, those are way too difficult. But through this we realized the peace of surrendering to His will, is worth whatever the cost.

God is teaching me that questioning "Why?" is really an unsatisfying quest. We should really ask "What?" What are you teaching me through this pain? What do you want me to see through this sorrow? We will never fully understand "Why?" anything happens in this life. We aren't capable of understanding the great depths of His wisdom and mercy. I am learning that pain and suffering are a means to know Him with a depth I had never experienced before. He has things to reveal to us in our sorrow that we wouldn't have been ready or willing to listen to before the hurt. We finally are able to get a small glimpse of what He was willing to endure out of His love for us.
I am realizing that God sometimes has a different agenda than physical healing. I believe He is still in the business of miracles.While He still uses physical healing to show Himself, there is much more at stake. His idea healing has to do with the soul. His primary purpose in the here and now is not to heal all the sickness and pain, but to bring us to a place where our desire for our lives is to glorify Him. He values our eternal souls well being much more than our physical health and suffering hearts. A person that experiences the true satisfaction of peace in Him, is a far greater miracle than a person healed of a physical ailment. The people who Jesus chooses to heal, physically, eventually die from something. Whether their bodies aged or the had a different sickness. The eternal soul is much more valuable to Him, and should be to us as well.

I read a book by an author that lost a baby. She says that during the time of their babies short life, a friend told her, “The miracle likely isn’t going to be that God will heal your baby. The miracle is going to be that God will heal You.” Wow, So true! God has worked through Mills small life to give me a spirit of acceptance and even joy in the midst of tremendous sorrow. Hope and peace beyond our human capacity in a way that I can’t explain or begin to take credit for. When God uses the worst things we can imagine for our ultimate good, we are able to see the light beyond the darkness.

So, just like the leper man, Jesus says to us, "I am willing, Be healed." Be healed from the wounded, broken, places in our life. Be healed from our own selfishness and follow Me. Maybe not "physically" healed, but be "spiritually" healed.
I am also coming to peace that Jesus did not withhold His healing touch from Mills. He has taken him to himself, and given us the hope that we will one day meet again. I know our prayers were earnestly felt and heard by God. He chose to heal Mills in a different way. Our hearts were broken in order to be healed. Not an experience anyone would choose for their life, the physical healing miracle is much easier to handle. But would our eyes still have been opened and ears so ready to listen to Him?

I know my biggest search has been for Mills life to have meaning on this earth. That there is a purpose in my loss, that is wasn't random or worthless. Sometimes God allows us the privilege of seeing how He is using our loss in the lives of others and sometimes we must wait. I know I will never see the fullness of His purpose in this life. But I know one thing for sure, in the deep losses of life, expect to find yourself blessed beyond imagination, IF we are willing. I know I sure have, and he is healing me more everyday!


  1. Just want you to know I am following your blog now since Kristy shared it...and I am enjoying every word you publish. It's obvious God is doing a mighty work in you and I am honored that you'll share it as a challenge and encouragement to the rest of us. I hate that I missed you a few weeks ago in Huntsville!

  2. Heartfelt and beautiful words Bek. I am definitely challenged and encouraged. Thank you for sharing your heart. xoxo-Ashley

  3. Hi, there! Leigh Ann Little shared your blog with me and I am so glad that she did! I gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1999 who had a chromosomal disorder that was, as they say, "not compatible with life". After three years of infertility, In late 2002, my daughter, Sarah Kate, was born prematurely at 2 pounds, 9 ounces - she has cerebral palsy. My husband and I gave up on having any more children, but we were given a very special gift from God - our son, Nathan (which means "gift from God") in March of this year. Nathan has Down syndrome.

    It is heart wrenching to hear (or hear of) people being told that their faith and prayers may heal their loved ones. As you said, what of those of us who have been faithful in our own prayers, but have seen those prayers go unanswered? It is tempting to feel that we are being punished or that God is not treating us fairly! I am constantly reminded, though, that throughout the history of the church, the saints never have led easy lives. Whether they chose the difficult path or had it thrust upon them, they were able to attain a level of closeness to God that most of us never will.

    God bless!