Thursday, February 14, 2008

Guarantee #11: Pray Hard, Get Healing

The next guarantee I posted earlier that people are taught and believe: If I pray hard enough and have enough faith, God will heal the one I'm praying for.

I've seen so many abuses of this teaching. 

One I remember from back in the seventies. A well-loved believer died, even though large numbers of people were praying for his healing. Well, he couldn't die! That couldn't happen! So, they unlawfully kept his body in a home for many days, and prayed hard. They were sure he would be raised up. Yes, that's what I said. Raised up from the dead. He wasn't. And many disillusioned believers were discouraged.

The other example of the misuse and abuse of this teaching is quite personal with me. Our granddaughter was born in 1988 and was severely, physically handicapped. The attending pediatrician said she wasn't human, that she was a thing and to let her die. She is a wonderful human being and she turns 20 in a couple of weeks.

She had surgery at a hospital in Dallas and the part of her spine that was outside her skin had to be removed, so she is paralyzed from her mid-chest down.

Through this most difficult time for our daughter and our family, many well-meaning believers told us many lousy and religious (not scriptural) things, such as:
  • Your daughter didn't pray enough for her daughter prior to birth.
  • If you would get a lot of people to pray, your granddaughter could walk!
  • God never intended this. Sin made this happen
  • What sin did your daughter commit to make this happen? (They were serious!)
  • This is a wonderful opportunity for God to work a miracle. Just pray and believe!
This was not encouraging, but very discouraging. 

We're all strong believers. We would not have wished this to happen. I don't believe we were sinful or that this is any kind of punishment from God. I don't really know why this happened, and it's very difficult to look into your granddaughter's eyes and answer her when she asks you why she can't walk like others. It's hard to help her know how much God loves her. This also brings up some hard questions from her hurting heart. Very hard to try to answer.

However, God is good and God works and God loves us and God never leaves us. We've never had a "word" that our granddaughter will be healed or will walk. What we have had are wonderful lessons on a whole new world of handicapped people. Are we better for having had this in our lives? Absolutely! Are we more loving? Yes. Are we more sensitive? Yes. Are we more accepting? Yes. Would we prefer a physically "perfect" granddaughter? That's hard to answer. I want to say no, but then I would love for her to know what it is to not be teased and pitied. That's difficult.

I now wonder if praying, believing, and getting healed isn't the easy way out. It's much more difficult to accept what is yours and to give God the glory through it all and still trust and believe that He loves and cares, which He does. 

Does God heal? Yes, I know of instances where He has. Yes, current instances of this, not just long ago in the Bible. Should we expect it and should we claim physical healing as a guarantee in the scripture? I think not. Just some thoughts.

No comments: