There are some things in life that just don’t make sense. Then there are things that simply don’t have to. Why have I had to struggle with pain for ten years? I don’t know. Why didn’t He heal me at the encounter weekend like I thought He was going to? I don’t know. However, in the process of it all, I have found an incredible peace that certainly passes all human understanding.
You see, what I have gained from Him far surpasses a quick answer and a brilliant moment. I am so much closer to His heart than I was before. There are some things I am sure of: My God loves me and He has personally promised to heal me. When and how He does it is certainly up to Him.
Four months ago, God revealed to my friend Brandon that God was going to heal many things in my life, including my physical struggles. He faithfully prayed for me every day since. And God has been faithful to heal beyond what my meager mind would think was possible. About a month and a half ago, God revealed the same thing to me (that He was going to heal my body) but it was given with a condition: that I truly seek the healing and through much prayer and fasting, show Him my desperation. He wanted to use this to draw me closer to Him.
It took a while for God to bring me to the point where I was ready. Healing is not just physical…when one has struggled chronically with something, there are also many emotional wounds. One by one, God took me through each moment and each scar. His healing hand took away the sting of my past, healed relationships, and liberated me from many damaging fears I had for my life. He is truly wise in His timing, and I have learned to trust in the completeness of His work.
About a week ago, God revealed to me that the time was drawing near for my healing and that I needed to prepare myself for it. I spent many meals in fasting and prayer and tuned my ears to hear His voice. God brought many incredible things into my life; people spoke messages directly from Him, God answered prayers in clear and specific ways, and I had the closest worship times I can remember having.
The night before the encounter weekend, the enemy showed up in all his fury to bring doubt into my life, and I nearly crumbled beneath the pressure. After a few minutes of tears, I realized that I needed to call my team to pray for me. Everyone gathered around me and began to pray and something happened that I cannot explain. The Holy Spirit fell down from heaven over my body and I lost control of my muscles. A tingling sensation started in my hands and feet and moved up my right leg. My nerves went numb. My friend gently laid me on the ground and others began to lay hands on me. My other friend had a vision and felt things coming together in my ankle. I felt all these things as I was nearly paralyzed, lying literally in the hand of God. Hearing the prayers of all those around me and the voice of God speaking to my heart, “Just rest in me,” was an experience I will never ever forget. It was completely Holy Spirit initiated and directed, and was a sign of God’s power not only to me, but also to my team.
I sat up and felt like jello for a long time and slept like I had not slept in a long time. When we left for the encounter weekend, I know what I was waiting for: my Divine healing. After all, I had been waiting and praying for ten years.
The time turned out to be much different than I was expecting. Outside of anything with healing, it was great to close the door on everything in the past that could hold me back in ministry in the future. All the while, however, there was a lot of work that the Holy Spirit did in my heart concerning my healing. I was frustrated and at peace, expectant but at times unsure, and as time marched on and it hadn’t happened, the question of when began to grow in my heart. God led me to fast breakfast this morning, and as I sat down to share a few of my questions with Him, He taught me perhaps the most important lesson I had learned in the process.
Sometimes (well, often) it just looks different. Things don’t happen when we thought they would or look like we thought they would. Sometimes God waits, and we don’t know the reason. However, my job in the process was clarified: only to trust. Questions jumped up in my mind: if God doesn’t heal me this weekend, what will I say to all the people that have been praying for healing for me this weekend? God told me, “That is not your concern. You don’t have to defend me; I can defend myself. All you have to do is have faith, and know that I will handle the rest.” It is true. The promise came from God and therefore it is His responsibility to fulfill it. I have remained faithful in every moment, and so has He. In the end I can only be a witness to this transforming fact: my faith is stronger now than ever before because God has yet to bring the healing. Make sense? Not at all, but some things in life don’t make sense. But then again, some things in life don’t have to.
You see, I serve a faithful God who is wise beyond the understanding of man. I serve a God whose love wakes me up every morning in His sweet embrace and who enraptures me with His Word. I serve a God whose healing is complete and never late, no matter how anxious and impatient I might be to experience the moment. I serve a God who is big enough to handle my questions and who can increase my faith because of yet unanswered prayers. You see, I woke up this morning to hear Him audibly say my name. It was the first time I had physically heard Him speak. If He wants to take His time and give me moments like that, it is worth every tear I cry in expectation. What matters to God and to me more than physical healing is a relationship with God that touches eternity. Someday my body will shrivel up and die. However, every investment I make in my relationship with God and every investment He makes in me does not fade with time or death. It is more real than reality itself. May He continue to transform me in the midst of my questions, doubts, and expectations. May He continue to lead me to a place of peaceful rest in Him, not only when I am lying on the floor in the midst of my teammates praying for me, but also in every moment of every day. I am so in love with my Jesus, and I am thankful that my relationship with Him looks different than I thought it would when I began this journey with Him. I am so thankful that God is different than the God I believed I knew before. He is so much more loving and deep and wonderful than I thought, and I know my healing will look different than I thought it would too. And it is ok.
I have made the decision that whatever happens in my life, I am His and His completely. There is nothing in this world that can separate me from His love or convince me to turn my back on Him. I am His and His forever. Through every high and low, I pray that it all would simply bring me to my knees in front of this God in whom I can confide the deepest things of my heart. What an honor and privilege to be in relationship with Him. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of struggle or “unanswered” prayer. When it just looks different than what I was expecting, I choose to trust Him…and I have never been disappointed. My unchanging God has always been faithful, as He will be forevermore. All glory and honor and praise go to Him! Amen.
The drawing in this blog was made by the missionary we are staying with: Vincent Cork. This is the scene that he saw the night the Holy Spirit fell down. This is what it means to have an encounter with the living God. Praise Him!