She was 2-years-old when the doctors told her mom and dad that she had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis; a debilitating disease that would most likely affect her the rest of her life. Aches and pains that she would grow accustom to and bare that most kids her age would go running to mommy & daddy about. Being freed from this burden wasn’t something she fathomed in her life….until God intervened.
It was September 16, 2012 and we were meeting some dear friends of ours in Bloomington Indiana to eat and my wife Amber, had a long day previously aiding in her pain that was obviously showing during our meal. Our friend Kristen’s father Bill was with us and he was a deeply spiritual man who loved The Lord. During the meal, Amber was asked why she seemed uncomfortable by Kristen. She explained the story of all she had done the day before and that her arthritis had really flared up. i noticed at this moment Bill’s demeanor change to a more quiet reverence. At the conclusion of our meal he noticed Amber limping out to the parking lot and stopped us in the middle of the lot and said the words that would change our lives.
He proceeded to tell us all that he was being told that we needed to pray for Amber and her pain….AND to pray that the arthritis leave her….permanently. Amber and I looked at each other with the similar look of, “Well, if he wants to sure thing, BUT the arthritis won’t go away.” I wish now that we would have responded differently; yet, God knew what he was doing. Without repeating word-for-word the whole prayer, Bill called the arthritis out as a foreign, not part of God’s design, disease that didn’t belong in His body, His temple….and in Jesus’ name, casted her pain and arthritis out.
Nothing seemed different. We looked at each other and Amber just seemed….the same. She just stood there and when Bill asked her if she felt any different, she just said “I don’t know, I haven’t moved yet; but feel the same.” We all began to chat like nothing happened and a few minutes later I looked at Amber and she was crying. She stated to me that it didn’t hurt anymore.
I was excited, yet still in disbelief and puzzled. Puzzled if it was just the emotions of the prayer getting to her and that her pain was numbed by overwhelming of the moment. Then, on the ride home, she just sat quietly for the first 5-10 minutes. Then she turned to me with again tears in her eyes just flowing and said, “I don’t know how else to explain it Chad, I don’t hurt anymore….I mean, look at this (she began rotating her ankles in circles) No pain!”
What had happened to Amber that day I had never seen with my own two eyes. A real healing from God; not a show or an emotional overload….but a healing that hit close to home. Just as I’ve always believed, yet never seen to validate the realness of what I’ve always read and been taught to believe. How about you??
The most mind blowing issue afterward I struggled with….why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I have been the one to heal her? I’m a PASTOR….a man who helps to encourage, teach, and lead others through Christ’s words….why not me?? It bothered me for awhile and in fact, bothers me some still today; however, my understanding of God’s word is clearer today than it was then. My friend Debbie could attest to that when you see her in heaven someday.
She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and a multitude of other health issues; more specifically focused on was her liver. She and I met from Terminix as I served her at her house for a year in 2011. She and I hit it off right away and our talks about our faith and walk with God were intriguing and challenging as she struggled with why she had her condition. She was only 50 at that time.
Our friendship grew and my wife got involved creating a deeper friendship with Debbie than even I had. God had his reasoning too. As her conditioned worsen, her hope began to fade and the desire for healing was heightened. So, as a pastor, I did want I thought was right. I invited her and her husband to church the following Sunday when I was gonna preach on healing.
The sermon came, it was powerful, passionate and Christ-centered. I felt The Lord leading me at the end of the sermon to ask for hands to be laid as Christ’s body on me and then onto Debbie and Duane. We FELT the Holy Spirit move in that building….I truly felt that God was going to heal her. But His will was higher in importance than mine. A few months later on November 1, 2012; our dear friend went to be with The Lord. Her healing, our desire not His, was met by His way and not ours.
Jesus gave the twelve the power to heal (Matthew 10:1); for those who believe have the power to lay hands on the sick and they recover! (Mark 16:17-18).
However, we feel most of the time as some if the disciples did in Matthew 17:16-18, “I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.”
We are unbelieving and perverted by the world’s unbelief in miracles. Yes, there are many who do believe in them; yet the majority don’t realize they could DO them! Focus on His words….He REBUKED him (or in another words, the evil within the body of the Lord’s needing healing). We forget the POWER we have IN JESUS NAME!
However, much like I did briefly after Debbie’s death; we need also realize that His healing isn’t always His will. That not all of us have the deep seeded faith to speak the name of Jesus in healing and it happen. ALL authority on heaven and earth is Christ’s (Matthew 28:18-20, yet we don’t claim His power in us!!
Don’t mistaken the whole picture….Paul states clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:30, “All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?“. So even if you want healing, like I did, you may not have that spiritual gift. No matter what the reasoning, God is in control and His will is beautiful.
Even if….the healing is hidden; even if we don’t like the results personally; even if we lose someone we love….
“Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
And even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
We RESTin who You are . (Partial Lyrics of “Even If” By: Kutless