From a social media posting on January 14, 2016:
For a couple weeks now it has been on my heart to write and share this. It is a complicated subject, so bear with me. Obviously I am working these ideas through my own mind, heart and spirit; I pray that my wrestling as well as my confidence will encourage you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about healing lately. As many of you know who have been following our story for the last year and a half, at the beginning hours of the stroke I felt that God told me Brian would be healed and completely restored. Indeed the Lord has healed him in many, many ways, and the whole thing has been nothing short of miraculous! However, he does still have deficits on his left side which affect his functioning in daily life.
When we hit the year mark in July 2015, I had to wrestle through some anger and frustration with God. You see, I had heard a story of a man’s recovery from a stroke -That a year later you couldn’t even tell that it had happened- and in my heart I adopted that scenario for Brian. The weekend before we moved to Texas, I was leading a ladies’ retreat during which we spent several hours in silence. It was during this time that I talked to the Lord about my expectation and asked why he wasn’t fully healed yet. I sensed the Father say to me, “Did I give you a timeline?” I said, “No, Lord.” He said, “But you adopted one.” So I repented for my expectation and surrendered again to His will and His purpose.
Something else that God made abundantly clear to Brian in the early days after the stroke was that God had a purpose in the process, in the journey. Indeed we have seen many purposes fulfilled-in more ways than I can relay. We are incredibly grateful and humbled by the Lord’s love, mercy, healing, and guidance that we’ve experienced in the last 18 months. I must be honest though, I have struggled in the last few weeks. There are ramifications from the stroke which hit at the core of daily life, & at times we still grieve.
So, did I really hear God say he’d be healed? I think perhaps the most common questions I hear people–even Christians–ask is, “How can I know that I’m really hearing God speak? Maybe I’m just hearing what I want to hear, hearing my own desires.” This is a real question, and one that requires longer study and discussion than space here, but here are some of my thoughts and wrestling about this:
* I DO believe that God is able to do anything! Nothing is impossible for Him, nothing is beyond His ability. This includes total healing for Brian, full restoration. However, The Bible is full of examples of suffering, trials, men and women of faith who fully believed God’s promises, and yet did not see those promises fulfilled in the natural realm. Read Hebrews chapter 11 & 2 Cor 12:3+, and do a word study on suffering.
* A great sin of the modern church age is the sin of presumption. The word and power of God get twisted and human beings walk around declaring and practically demanding God to act, to heal according to THEIR perceptions of what is right & just & fair. These attitudes & actions are anti-Scriptural. They not only deny the Sovereignty of Almighty God, but also fail to recognize human beings’ proper place of humility before Him.
* God defines healing differently than we do. “We see through a glass dimly… ” We see things only in the here and now, only in the physical realm. God sees things from an eternal perspective. We define healing as complete physical well-being right now. If you hold this mindset, what do you do with the millions of godly people who suffer, who are martyred, who die of cancer? Did they not believe God? Did they not have enough faith? Did they not pray hard enough? Was there too much sin in their lives? Such mindsets put the emphasis on humans’ performance, and that is not a stable nor a scripturally correct emphasis.
Doesn’t spiritual healing reflect a greater worth, because it is for all eternity. The Bible speaks a lot of how this life is fading away, man is but dust and to dust he will return, his days are like morning dew which disappears in the sun. And yet, through Jesus Christ we have the amazing promise and hope of life after death, immortality! In heaven there is no sickness, no pain, no death, no worry, no tears, no fear, and the list goes on. That is our citizenship! That is where full healing and complete restoration will ultimately be shown.
(Footnote 12/27/17: Just in the last few weeks the Spirit has given me insight through Hebrews 11:13-16. All of these pillars of faith, the “hall of famers” so to speak did not receive what was promised in their lifetimes! They saw God’s promise from a distance, believed it, and lived their lives accordingly. However, the true fulfillment of the promise is in Heaven. Again, that is where our citizenship lies! This ministered a deep peace to my heart and stilled much wrestling of the topic of healing and whether or not I heard God or my own mind. Another insight the Spirit revealed is in the last section of Hebrews chapter 11 (verses 32-40) where the lives of faith hall of farmers are described which did not always end in seeming victory. In fact, there is much suffering, torture, death, grief described…and yet, these are ALSO held up as exemplary models of faith! Notice especially verses 38-40.)
* I am NOT SAYING that God does not perform miracles here & now! He most certainly does! We have witnessed His miracles, not only in this stroke journey but also through Garrett’s life, particularly the night of his birth. (That’s a story for another time.) The Holy Spirit is alive and well, and I believe that all of the gifts described in the New Testament are available and active in the Body of Christ today. Could God heal Brian this instant? YES…IF that is according to His will & His purpose. Brian and I both prayed at the beginning of the stroke that the Lord would accomplish whatever was necessary to fulfill His purpose and to bring Him the most glory.
In the last couple weeks, Brian has summed it up like this… “I have to conclude that if God wanted me fully healed right now I would be. The fact that I’m not fully healed physically right now means that the Lord has other plans. It means that my being in this physically weakened state serves His purpose best right now. And I’m ok with that.”
This does not mean that God is some masochist, wielding His power arbitrarily or delighting in our suffering. If one has this view, he/she needs to study Scripture AS A WHOLE and get to know the character & attributes of God.
* So I find that this journey is a balancing act between surrender and faith and belief. Romans 4 describes the faith of Abraham. While his wife was barren, God promised him that she would bear a son who would father many nations. It was 25 years before that promise was fulfilled! I wish I could read Abraham’s journal.
Romans 4:19 says, “…without wavering in his faith, Abraham faced the fact… “. I find this to be a fascinating scripture and one that helps me in this current season especially. Without wavering in my faith… I believe that God can totally heal Brian physically, better than new. Without wavering in my faith… I can face the facts of his current weakened physical state. Faith, the Bible says, is the evidence of things hoped for. If we could see it and touch it it wouldn’t be faith.
The first recorded words of the enemy in the garden of Eden were, “Did God really say?” The enemy has been seeking to sow doubt in the minds of believers since time began. So I do not want to fall into doubt!
But in all of this faith, I must continue to surrender to the Sovereignty of God, KNOWING above all else that He loves us & has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) AND knowing that regardless of what we experience in our brief span of life on this earth, because of Jesus Christ we have to promise eternity where any trial, any suffering, any pain anyone has ever experienced will be completely insignificant in light of the glory we will dwell in forever and ever. (See Revelation 4&5)