Healing Isn’t Always The Answer

7 11 2013

nopainI got some sad news this past week. In a conversation with my mom I discovered that my grand father (affectionately known to all of us as “Papa”) has cancer. We don’t know what type of cancer or the prognosis yet since we’re still waiting for appointments to be scheduled with the doctors. Suddenly there was a rush of feelings that I thought I would never have to deal with. I felt almost a panic as my mind tried to make sense of the news. Almost immediately I thought of all the prayer chains and groups that I would submit him to. After all…this is my papa.

Last night in our Family Night at church we had a guest speaker, Pastor Terry Wong from Hawaii. He was talking about praying for the sick and seeing them be healed. As I absorbed all the information he was presenting God — as He always does– dropped something in my heart. Pastor Wong made this statement (and I’m paraphrasing), “Why is it that we pray for physical healing and neglect the spiritual healing that is, many times, needed?” That one question let God work on my heart with this.

I should probably tell you that Papa’s spiritual condition is excellent. He is a man who modeled Christ-like living for as long as I can remember. He is a retired pastor of 40 years and had a successful radio ministry that reached millions with God’s Word. He has written devotionals that have become the standard of recovery programs where he lives in West Virginia. He gave a 15-year-old boy his first opportunity to preach because he felt that boy was called of God to do it (that’s me in case you’re wondering). He doesn’t need spiritual healing…he needs physical healing.

No where in life are we promised anything — even healing. We sometimes wonder why things happen to people, families, or churches like they do. But there is a stark reality that we forget. We live in a fallen world and as a result of that fall sickness, disease, hurt, pain, and a whole lot of other horrible stuff happens — sometimes to us. “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45 — NIV)” That thought is of little comfort to anyone when you’re in the middle of something like this. God never promised exemption from any of these things though. He just promised to walk through it with us.

reach

Wayne Watson, a contemporary Christian artist, has a song titled Home Free. It talks about the ultimate healing and how it’s not always a physical healing. Sometimes the ultimate healing is to be home. To be where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4 — NIV)” That’s exactly where Papa wants to be. We have talked about it on many occasions and I could always hear the longing in his heart. He just wants to be with the Father. How can I now pray that God heal him physically and take that away from him? As that thought settled into my heart my prayer requests for the groups and lists started to form.

So if you add my Papa to your prayer list please pray like this:

God, You are in control of all things. You see Your son, and You love him, in a way that I never could. As He walks through this trial be with him. Ease any pain he may feel. When You are ready to call him home may he joyfully find himself at the feet of the One whom he has so faithfully served. He is in Your hands.

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