I haven't forgotten how I felt on that fall afternoon many years ago. Some weeks prior to that afternoon my husband and I were involved in a pretty serious car accident. The injuries I sustained required a difficult, painful time of recovery. There was nothing easy about the following months but that's a story for another day! Many people were praying for me and our family asking Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals, to show up and do what only He can - make me well again quickly.
That afternoon a friend stopped by our home. She asked if she could pray for me. I was happy for all the prayers I could get! She prayed and asked God to intervene and bring healing and restoration. When she finished her prayer, she immediately asked, Are you healed? I knew I wasn't. No healing miracle took place during her prayer. I said, No.
That was when the finger pointing began. When I said NO, she said, Well, you just don't have enough faith. I was astonished and offended.
I pushed back with a question: That's an interesting conclusion for you to draw. Tell me, how is it that I am not healed because I do not have enough faith? I know that you recently prayed for Mr. X [a certain famous someone who had a spinal cord injury after being shot]. You went to see him just like you came to see me today. You prayed for him just like you prayed for me today. He is still in his wheelchair. He also was not healed when you prayed. Is that what you told him after your prayer - that he did not have enough faith?
O, No! she said. He wasn't healed because it didn't serve God's greatest good for him to be healed at this time. I was startled! I was angry! I was not healed due to my lack of faith! It was my fault! The other person was not healed - not due to lack of faith but rather due to the plan and purpose of God. The only difference I could see between the two of us by her measure was that he was famous and I was not.
Sorry, but the God I know doesn't operate that way! He doesn't pick and choose only the wise, the wonderful, the rich, the famous on whom to bestow His favor! He says, I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Rom. 9:15) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things ... so that no one may boast before Him. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)
I took a deep breath, looked her straight in the eye and said, I agree that God does not heal at times because He has a greater plan. But, my friend, faith is a gift from God. Faith isn't something I conjure up or manufacture. (Eph. 2:8) I know that God does not heal when He doesn't for His own good purpose and plan. God does heal when He does also for His own good purpose and plan. Healing comes from Him. Healing depends on Him. When God doesn't choose to heal me or anyone else, He has His reasons and that is enough for me!
What a terrible burden to dump on a person in the middle of pain and loss - it's your fault!
You aren't strong enough or spiritual enough to get what you need! Pointing fingers, placing blame on the person God doesn't choose to heal is deeply wrong! Point your finger at God if you must. Place the blame on Him. He makes His plan. He works His plan. He walks with you and me in the pain. Maybe He changes the circumstances. Maybe He doesn't, but whatever He does is about Him. It's His choice! That's a very, very good and comforting reality!