Let me be the last to say I know much about the divine nature of God when it comes to healing and restoration in the midst of pain and suffering while we sojourn on this earth. Do you also find it a bit mysterious that some folks are healed, while others are not?
Some of us live with chronic pain in parts of our bodies. Others have received a startling prognosis from the doctor. Some of us are in need of spiritual deliverance and deep revival of our souls; while others contend with emotional imbalance and illness. We can also add to the equation that we live in a broken and decaying world, so the odds for healing may seem against us.
There are many Biblical examples of healing brought to people, even entire nations, but there are also cases where people were not privy to Jesus's touch and/or the Truth never reached them. Surely their discomfort in illness or sickness continued to plague them.
I found a couple of verses in the Bible that linked comfort (courage) and healing, but in both cases, the comfort was extended after the individuals were healed:
And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” Mat 9:2
But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
Based on these and similar verses, I have heard Bible teachers and pastors suggest that we are in need of healing in the first place either because we are sinning or because we don't have enough faith. [And as to faith, it only takes the teeniest amount--the size of a mustard seed--to move mountains!]
Well, this position certainly doesn't offer much solace to the one suffering! Plus it throws a humanistic slant to the equation, making this more about us to some extent and less about God.
Although we can find some comfort in knowing that ultimate healing of body, mind, and spirit, and soul awaits all Christians,
what do we do in the here-and-now when we are in pain?
In a gargantuan attempt to over simplify, perhaps when we are suffering, somehow we have to make this about God. We need to present ourselves to God as His child. He is our wise and loving Father.
Could it be that the discomfort we feel keeps us seeking a comfort that transcends the pain and angst? In other words, could this "thorn" keep us humble and with a softened heart before our Creator?
Could our condition make us realize that we need God like never before? Could it make us seek Him with renewed energy and determination? Could we come to know Him more and better and deeper in the midst of our hardship?
Do we serve a God who can relate to and validate our pain and suffering? Yes.
Should this speak volumes to us as we suffer? Absolutely.
Why don't we ask God how He would like us to manage our pain? Can we ask the Great Comforter to help us endure and to be our strength? Can we ask Him to help us with any unbelief while we wait?
Then, can we ask Him to help us see our condition from a new perspective? Can we thank Him somehow? Can we arise each morning with a song in our hearts ? Can we find joy amidst the pain?
In other words, I may suffer from plantar fasciitis, but there are some folks without feet and legs. I may have lung disease, but I am fortunate to have an oxygen tank at my side to use as needed. I may have crippling arthritis, but I have family and friends around who support me. The doctor said "You have 6 months to live" but I say "No. True Living is an attitude and a condition of the heart, not the body."
Finally, can we find someone else to comfort who has a physical or emotional ailment? Can we make their load a little lighter? Can we bring them love, a smile, a kind word ... especially, especially in the midst of our own pain?
Perhaps this is where the healing really starts: with a grateful heart.
“But it is still my consolation,
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