Week 10: Hopeful Submission: When Healing Doesn't Come
Yesterday I posted the scripture, “…He healed them all” from Matthew 12: 15. I have always wondered why Jesus healed EVERYONE during His earthly ministry and yet doesn’t seem to do that now. I’m not the only one that has had these questions. A lady responded to my post with this comment:
“I pray for healing several times a day. I pray that my husband can feel relief. I pray that he is able to sleep through the night. I pray that he can eat a full meal. It’s hard to keep an eternal perspective sometimes.”
Healing is a topic that can be painful for those with chronic illness. Having suffered many years with Lupus I have known what it’s like to feel like healing will never come. I have had days where I couldn’t take care of my kids and other people had to take care of me. I have had dark nights and lonely days. I have had deep despair. If you have felt that way too, can I share with you what I’ve learned and how healing came to me?
First, back to my initial question, why did Jesus heal everyone during his earthly ministry but doesn’t seem to do that now? Some may respond that it is because not everyone has enough faith to be healed. I see two problems with that line of thinking. First, Jesus healed people who were struggling with their faith (remember the father who said “help thou mine unbelief”)? Second, I have learned from personal experience that it often takes MORE faith to NOT be healed than to be healed. Nothing will try your faith like miracles or promises that don’t come.
During those painful waiting periods, I learned to live in the balance of hope and submission. Maintaining hope can be hard when the miracle you’ve been praying for doesn’t come. It can be soul crushing. In my moments of deep despair, I have had several people in my life that have reminded me to keep trying, keep looking, and keep praying for healing when I’ve wanted to give up. Faith and hope cannot flourish when you are swallowed up in despair, discouragement, or despondency. Believe in good things to come. “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8: 28.
When life doesn’t work out according to plan, it begins to feel like everything is spinning out of control. However, there are things that ARE in your control. You can pray, you can eat healthy foods, you can take care of your body, you can take your medications. Don’t give up on the things that do help when complete healing doesn’t come.
On the opposite side of the same coin is submission. Even Christ himself had trials that could not pass from Him. In the garden of Gethsemane, He taught us to submit to the Lord’s will for us and trust that our loving Father has a plan for us. If He had to endure certain trials then why do we feel like we are any different? “Art thou greater than He?” (D&C 122: 8). Keep your faith and hope alive by submitting to Heavenly Father’s will—whatever it is. There are crosses to bear in this life.
Even when Christ cannot remove a trial, He can lift the burden. I call these moments “handcart moments.” When the pioneers were traveling west by handcart several of them reported being so exhausted that they literally could not take another step. It was then, in their complete desperation that they would suddenly feel the handcarts pushing them. The very trial that is weighing you down that you feel you cannot carry anymore is the very thing that will push you to where you need to go. Your trial is pushing you. Let it. Don’t sit down in despair.
Two final thoughts that came to me this week as I have been studying the New Testament and pondering this question.
First, although Jesus healed everyone that came to Him, their journeys were all different. The woman with an issue of blood suffered for 12 years. The man born blind dealt with his impairment his whole life. Lazarus died before his healing came. We do not know when we are going to have our healing encounter with the Lord—our moment to touch His hem or to be touched by Him. But when we do have that encounter, it will be ever as precious and life altering.
The last lesson I want to share comes from Matthew 8, and the story of the man with palsy. The man with palsy was so sick that he couldn’t even walk—his friends carried him on a cot to see Jesus. When Jesus saw the man, what was his first order of business? You would think given the nature of the visit he would physically heal the man before anything else. That is not what happend. Jesus said, “thy sins be forgiven thee.” The scribes and pharisees were surprised too. But from this we learn the real priorities of Jesus. Spiritual healing is much more important to him—and to us—than physical healing. And Christ has the power to heal your soul sickness whether it’s emotional pain, sin, or heartache.
I want you to know that your healing can come today. He waits for you to reach out to Him.
“This very day—every day—He reaches out to you, desiring to heal you, to lift you up, and to replace the emptiness in your heart with an abiding joy. He desires to sweep away any darkness that clouds your life and fill it with the sacred and brilliant light of His unending glory.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Believe, Love, Do.” Oct., 2018
After the man with palsy was healed spiritually, Christ healed him physically. Real, physical miracles like that do happen today. Don’t stop believing in them. When Jesus asked the man, “wilt thou be made whole,” he was asking us too. Miracles do happen everyday! I have witnessed my own physical healing and have seen others experience healing as well.
Sometimes we have to wait 12 years or our whole lives for physical healing. But you can take hope in the fact that the kind of healing that matters most—spiritual healing—is available today. You don’t have to wait to seek your healing moment with the Lord and you can look forward with complete faith that your physical healing will come someday too. He truly heals ALL. He has overcome sickness, infirmities, pain, and even death so that we can ALL receive healing, hope, and strength.