Yes and Amen!

A few weeks after I received salvation back in 2003 and began reading God’s Word, I had an important conversation with my staff-turned-sister in Christ (she was the one who brought me to the Savior) on one of her frequent visits. In my early readings, I came upon John 12:40 and I believed it held the key to my healing. Based on testimonies I’d heard in Church about instant healings, I expected the same thing to happen to me. But when weeks passed and nothing changed in my body, I began to bemoan God’s Word. I think that’s where the wrestling with God and His Word all began.

This is what John 12:40 says:

“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”

I reasoned with my staff, a seasoned Christian, “Why hasn’t the Lord healed me yet? When He took me out of the miry clay, I didn’t hide myself, I didn’t harden my heart, but I presented myself to Him willingly. I gave Him my hand to lead me and said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ I believe in Him. He’s my only hope, my Healer. Why hasn’t He healed me as I had believed?” These were the questions that I wrenched out of my heart as I struggled with both my illness and newfound faith. My friend and sister in Christ listened in silence, a faint smile touching her lips.

The wrestlings with God and His promises would continue for more than a decade. It is as if God wraps Himself in thick mystery that no human can break through or even begin to comprehend. His miraculous healings of incurable and terminal diseases, whether instantly or gradually, are as mysterious as they are marvellous, because not everyone, at least in the present age, receives such a tremendous blessing. Yes, even those who walk in faith as steadfastly as all the rest in the Church. His healing or not healing has become a deep mystery to me, although the Word is very clear about it that it’s His will to heal. That’s exactly what the Lord Jesus revealed when He walked on earth.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (Mat. 9:35)

Whatever contradictions I see and experience, I still firmly believe in this: God is not partial in His healing. I cannot believe that a just and merciful God would say something like, “I will heal her, but sorry, not you.” The Lord Jesus never said that to anyone who came to Him seeking healing. The Bible says He healed them all. Yes, even the Canaanite woman’s daughter after the mother argued in her desperation, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Mat. 15:27). The Lord had marvelled at her tenacious faith and healed her daughter instantly. And I, coming from the same place of need and desperation as that Canaanite mother, am more than willing to go down on my knees under the table and pick up the crumbs, if only in that way I could receive my healing. But I’m not a Canaanite woman. I’m a modern Israelite who has been adopted into God’s family through the Lord Jesus Christ. If healing is the bread of the children of the kingdom, then assuredly, healing is for me, too.

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” If he healed then, he still heals today. Nothing’s changed in His character, His will, His Word. He said He is the God who heals us (Exo. 15:26) and heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will not pass away (Mat. 24:35). God’s healing through faith, for me, is sacred ground, and I will never trade it for anything less than. God heals and I will hold onto this truth until forever comes. This is not the subject of this article, but rather, how to continue to live in faith while we wait for it.

The danger of God’s silence or continued unresponsiveness to our desperate pleas for healing, as I had experienced, is that, we may spiral into the abyss of doubts and unbelief which could spawn more pervasive problems such as bitterness, numbness, cynicism, and rebellion. These are the hardest things to wrestle against. There’s a saying that when God answers our prayers, He’s increasing and strengthening our faith. With His non-answer then, what is being developed? It may be our patience and steadfastness. But the long years of drought, of praying and reading His Word with healing remaining in the far horizon, may produce “calluses” in the heart. Not exactly a hardening where there’s no hope of redeeming, but a constant struggle that becomes ingrained in one’s system.

What is this exactly? It is the difference between responding to God’s Word with joy and rejoicing and responding to it with strong internal struggles. It is responding with “But, Lord…” instead of “Amen, Lord!”

It is thinking in the deepest reach of the soul, “I know that the Lord heals and He heals others, but well, He chooses not to heal me.”

It is feeling a painful wrenching somewhere inside, of feeling dismayed or disappointed that somehow, His promises had failed us.

It is unconsciously murmuring, “Yeah, these are all powerful promises but… (a heavy sigh), they remain in the pages of the Bible. They happened long time ago. (Another sigh and a slow shaking of the head with a blank stare) I don’t know…

It is that “But, Lord” that sucks the joy and hope and power and life out of the Word, rendering it futile. It’s the doubts, the drooping of the shoulders, the disheartening, that erode the power of the Word. If those are the effects the Word has on us now, how can it do its work? So, the wait has been too painfully long, maybe unnecessarily long, but if we continue to bemoan God’s promises, how they are not being fulfilled in our lives as they should, where do we go from here?

Peter was confronted with the same question, but he faced it squarely and answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

My counsel is to start anew, to read God’s Word with fresh eyes and an open heart, the calluses buffed and smoothed out. Do not fall to the trap of unbelief and doubts, making Isaiah’s words a reality in our lives:

Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37-38)

Read and hear and affirm God’s Word and His testimonies sans doubts and negative feelings, not a Yes and No like a game of tug-of-war. (Saint James says that a double-minded man will not receive anything from the Lord). But receive it with renewed hope and joy and with a resounding “Yes and Amen!”

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Cor. 1:19-20)

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Journey with Jesus,

 

Comments

  1. Lux says:

    How refreshing to read these wonderful words while this sweet music is playing in the background. Really refreshing.

  2. Bethany says:

    Living in Christ and not “getting better” health wise can so be a challenge. Thank you for sharing these honest words and your experience. Amen. Blessings to you!

  3. susie says:

    This is beautiful! Glad i stopped by this morning!

  4. Hazel Moon says:

    Oh, how I wish I had the answer. I know God still is in the healing and deliverance business, but some are not healed. Even in our family there are several struggling with disease that makes our heart hurt. I keep going back to the thoughts that you may be allergic to some of the lotions, creams, soaps and bath solutions you are using. My husband is allergic to odors and I must use unscented everything. May God bolster up your faith and courage to hold fast to what you have believed. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  5. Betty Draper says:

    It is that “But, Lord” that sucks the joy and hope and power and life out of the Word, true, true, true. Great post.

  6. Brenda says:

    Love your distinction between our “but, Lord” responses and our “Amen, Lord” responses. Thank you for sharing. :) ~ best to you ~

  7. Barbie says:

    I’ve never struggled physically for too long. I can imagine the waiting season can be a hard one. I’ve seen God heal, miraculously, right before my eyes. As we wait, I trust God to provide strength for our journey. Thank you for sharing at Weekend Whispers.

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