I could write a book about all the numerous therapies, medicines, regimens, supplements, diets, and juices Michael has tried in an effort to get well. I can’t promise the story would be a page-turner, but it would certainly be a long one.
If you’re sick, too, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Though we’ve seen some benefit, we can’t seem to land on a cure. After thousands of dollars spent, high hopes, and intense searching, the realization that we are not as far along as we thought we’d be is pretty painful. Healing just seems out of reach.
But we are still gripping tightly to hope that Michael can get better. Do you know why? Because God has a long history of healing very sick, very desperate people.
I think of the woman with an issue of blood (Matthew 9:25-34). She’d been sick for 12 years and no doctors could help her. She fumbled her way through the crowd just hoping to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked as He felt power leave His body. The woman came forward and confessed. Jesus did not rebuke her but instead responded compassionately: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
And consider Naaman the Leper (2 Kings 5:1-14). Though he was a great warrior, he could not battle his illness in his own strength. He came to the prophet Elisha for healing and expected some great and dramatic display to cure him. But Elisha simply sent a servant to tell Naaman to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman was furious that the cure was not something more desireable and grand, but in his desperation he finally waded in. The Bible says not only was his flesh restored to health, but it was soft like a little child’s. Now that’s a healing that goes above and beyond! God’s specialty.
What about the man who couldn’t walk (Mark 2:1-12)? Jesus was preaching to a packed house when the man’s friends cut a hole in the roof and lowered him down. Not only did Jesus say, “Get up, take up your bed and walk” but He also forgave his sins. Jesus healed the sickness in his body and in his heart.
Sometimes God chooses to use people in their weaknesses and trials, rather than removing the afflictions. The Apostle Paul pleaded three times with God to remove his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7-10). But God reassured him that His grace was sufficient to sustain Paul in suffering and that His power was being displayed through Paul’s life of struggle.
We don’t know which Michael will ultimately be—a Paul or a Naaman. But we do know that God loves us and hears our prayers as His children. We do not assume that healing—whether by miracle or medicine—cannot be God’s will at the right time. And so we pray.
Every believer’s prayer for healing will be answered with “I am willing, be clean” (Matthew 8:3), whether in this life or in the Life to come: “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).
Where are you in your chronic illness journey? Do you still believe it’s possible for God to heal you of your illness? Even if it’s something you’ve dealt with for a long time? We would love to pray for you. Please feel free to post your need in the comments, message us on our Facebook page, or email Michael (at) chronicencouragement.com.