So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 2 Corinthians 12:7
Whenever I write about healing I always get comments. Some are concerned that I claim not to be healed from my colitis others that I do not go far enough when I write about my disease or that I am unclear as to who caused my colitis. Well, I never intend to cover all the possible ins and outs of the Bible when I write. I try to keep my writings to a page or less though sometimes I do indeed write more. First let me state that God never inflicted me with any infirmity. Most of the problems I and all of us suffer are due to living in a fallen world. Others are the direct result of choices we make, smoking is one example. Then there are the ones that God allows Satan to inflict. But God sets limits to how much Satan can do. Satan, though he may deny it, is under God’s authority. God can and does choose to heal our physical problems. But sometimes just as He chose not to remove the thorn in Paul’s side so He chooses not to heal us from a particular ailment. He does however give us the strength to carry on through our ailment.
Some will tell us that if our faith was stronger than God would heal us. One has to ask the question, was Paul lacking in faith? I think not. Paul was executed for his faith. His faith was strong enough to follow God’s leading across the Roman world, in and out of prisons and finally to a death in Rome. If Paul did not have enough faith to be healed then I am sorely lacking in that part of my walk. No, healing is not a reward for greater faith than others nor is lack of healing a result of not enough faith. God heals to show the world who He is. God also allows us to live with an affliction in order to show us and the world that He alone is enough for us.
So, am I healed? In one way I can answer yes I am and in another way I can answer not yet. What? Make sense. Either you are healed or you are not. How can you be both? Easy. But first let’s look at healing. When Jesus healed people they were completely healed. Not in remission but as though the affliction never existed. They were made whole. When Jesus raised people from the dead they were fully alive. One thing they were not was forever healed. Not in their earthly bodies at least. Each and every one who was healed by Jesus and each and every one who was raised from the dead by Jesus eventually died. None of them are walking around today.
God’s plan is not that we be healed from every ailment in this life. His plan is that we use this life to be healed from the greatest ailment ever, sin. That is the healing we all need to strive for. Except that Jesus comes back beforehand all of us will die. This life is but a staging ground for eternity. This life is where we make the decision as to where and with whom we want to spend that eternity. In this life we make a choice to either spend eternity with God or spend it apart from Him. When we chose God that is when we will be truly healed. Not in this body that will always breakdown and decay but a new resurrected body that will never see decay.
When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, I prayed for his healing. I prayed for healing every day. Dad stilled died. So, who lacked faith? Him? Me? Both of us? One may question both of our faith but what I learned is that God did indeed heal dad. Just not when and where I wanted. Dad is healed for all eternity. What more can I ask for.
Am I healed form my colitis? I honestly do not know. Maybe I am but maybe it will return. What I do know is that I will be healed in the only way that matters and to God that healing has already taken place. This life is not the life I will live forever but only a stop over to the life God created me to have. God allows us to go through hard times. We grow through adversity. It is the challenges in our lives that make us who we are. When things are too easy we cease to grow and stagnate. I know that my colitis helped to make me a better person. God allowed my colitis but He did not cause it. Just as tempered steel is stronger because it has gone through the fire so we are made stronger going through the fire of our adversities.
I hope two examples from nature will make my point. There is the caterpillar that goes through life eating living as a caterpillar, but being a caterpillar is not its destiny. No the caterpillar is destined for something greater. But in order to achieve that destiny they need to spin a cocoon or form a chrysalis and then the old body breaks down, the caterpillar dies but a new body begins to form from the old and what emerges is a beautiful butterfly. We are like the caterpillar in that this body we now inhibit is not our final form but a beautiful resurrected body is what is in store for us. One that will never taste death not illness or any infirmity.
As to struggles. If you have ever watched a butterfly emerge from its cocoon/chrysalis you see what a struggle it has. If some well-meaning human cuts open the cocoon in order to make the transition easy for the butterfly something bad happens. The butterfly’s wings never fully inflate and they are unable to fly. They are venerable to any predator unable to escape. It is the struggle that makes the butterfly. Just as it is the struggle that makes a Christian. None of us will ever be completely healed on this earth. But to God each believer is already healed from the ravages of sin.
Have a blessed day,
PS: That is my opinion on healing. Feel free to disagree. And yes, for those counting I have gone over a page. Hopefully it made some sense.