There are countless examples in the Bible of Jesus and his disciples physically healing people. From the blind, to the lame, to those dying from the plague, to the already deceased – Jesus seemed to have no boundaries about healing the sick. And yet, how many of us today either struggle with permanent physical ailments or know someone who is? Even devote, spirit-filled people sometimes are left in poor health, and this right here is really, really difficult for me to wrap around. Ironically, just in time for me to broach this subject, God’s prepared for me a testimony. It’s a bit lengthy, but I think God brought this to me now for a reason, so I hope you’ll take the time to read my story:
After my husband and I married and gave our lives over to Christ, our lives began to change. Things became more about God’s vision than our vision. But, honestly, I didn’t have a good grasp on what God wanted from us. So, I spent many hours a week praying that God would share with me his dream for our lives. It took time, but one day I had this “revelation.” I was meditating on those prayers, wondering what God had in mind, when several crisp visions and pieces of understanding hit me. It was amazing! I didn’t know much detail about anything – how it would happen or when – but I knew God had a big calling in several areas of our lives.
The biggest one: we are supposed to have a son.
I was a little dumbfounded by that. Honestly, I love children but the thought of having my own was never that appealing. I had a lot of reasons, but anyone in my family will tell you I’ve always been at least mildly against it. My husband didn’t have much of an opinion on it either. We both were in the “if it happens, okay – if not, okay!” mindset, though I was leaning more toward it not being okay if we had one. So that is how I know the revelation I had wasn’t my own. I was terrified, upset, and a little excited. Of course, having God reveal anything to you is thrilling – but really? Why did it have to be that?
I told my husband all about what God shared with me, and he reacted close to the same as I did. We both agreed God must mean this is for later down the road. That brought me some peace, and almost made me excited. I would get a few years to let this settle in and grow on me!
Well, as time went on, this lingered almost constantly in my mind. I started to be okay with the idea, then I started to wonder when God intended this to happen, and then I started to wonder if I actually wanted it to happen. I started praying again, but God wasn’t responding. I started to doubt the revelation, thinking maybe I just made it up and was being silly anyway. Maybe God was up there chuckling at me for being so anxious about this subject. I had my husband pray about it, asked him to ask God for confirmation. I kept asking for confirmation myself too. I’d say, “God, I’m going to open my Bible and I want you to say whatever it is you need to say to me,” and I’d open it and there’d be something about a child.
At this point, I realized my revelation simply must be right but maybe I wasn’t spending enough quiet time with God to hear him answer. I knew I had some time off work coming up in September, so I vowed that during that time, I was going to stay in deep prayer, study, and mediation until I understood God’s vision and what my role was in it.
Almost immediately after this, I got very sick. It started with a minor throat infection, turned into tonsil stones, canker sores, a swollen and very infected throat with blisters as far down as doctors could see, then a fever, shakes, chills, a cold, and a very high resting heart rate. I had three different strep tests, an EKG, and blood work done. They even put me on a beta-blocker to calm my heart down. Most importantly, she ordered me to take off work for the next four days.
I was physically miserable. It hurt to talk, swallow, and even breath sometimes– and forget eating anything besides chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes. And naturally, my husband had to work all of those days, so I was stuck in my room alone with no energy to do anything besides—
Pray. It was exactly what I needed. Sure, I felt terrible, but God had me right where he needed me. He wasn’t about to let my busy work schedule get in the way of what he needed to tell me. He needed me out of the game, unable to do anything productive besides focus on him.
So that’s what I did. The first three days I sat and studied the Bible, read books by my pastor and his brother, prayed, and listened. I was so sick that it was very hard to concentrate too, so I started writing down my prayers – an old trick I used a few years ago. It helps you stay on subject and keep your mind from wandering, then you have that prayer recorded so it’s easier to see all God does!
On the third day, I was getting really frustrated, bored, and a bit depressed. After all, God told me I was supposed to sing (as I’ve mentioned before) and I could barely even talk! I figured I’d recover but I wanted to sing right then! I wanted to use my gift and sing praise songs and write music to God, and I was getting so impatient. What made it worse, I realized I didn’t even really know how to “worship.” Worshipping isn’t just singing praise, it’s about adoring God for who he is. I’m great at thanking God for what he does, but I didn’t know much about adoring him for who he is. In my frustration, I picked up my prayer journal and begged God to teach me how to simply adore him instead of just appreciate what he does for me.
Within the next thirty minutes, I felt urged to pull up some of the music files my husband and I have made, then I went to a certain song we’d let go, then suddenly I was editing the sound and changing the lyrics—
Then I was singing – yes, singing, with blisters down my swollen throat, with vocal chords not used for at least a week – singing. I recorded the new lyrics, and the whole song was about God’s awesome character and power. I was thrilled! And almost immediately after recording, my voice went back to its sick self.
It was incredible to experience that. I knew that was part of why God pulled me out of my work routine – he needed to show me the key to falling in love with him so I could feel passionate about music again and be inspired. It was so amazing to have my voice healed just enough to record that song so I wouldn’t lose it, even though I lost the strength in my voice again after.
What it really did was lift up my faith. So, by day four, I knew God was on a mission. I had reached a point where I was ready to listen and learn from him. That day, I picked up my prayer journal and wrote all about how incredible he is. How amazing it is that he listens to all of his children all at the same time and has such a deep personal relationship with all of us at once! Then I thanked him for the teaching and inspiration and the people in my life. Then I came back to my original question: What about this child?!
By starting my prayer focused on God: his character, love, power, wisdom, strength, etc. I made myself open to hearing his voice, not just my voice asking questions. So this time, when I brought it up, the most breathtaking thing happened – the Holy Spirit wrote through me.
This part might sound crazy to some, but I know what I experienced! As I was writing, I started to feel the Holy Spirit’s prompting, just like it says in the Bible, that the Spirit will guide us in prayer. Then suddenly I felt this overwhelming sensation and my eyes basically glazed over, I wasn’t looking at what I was writing, but I could hear the words of my prayer loudly inside my mind. So I wrote fiercely what was resounding within me.
God answered me. He told me his vision for this child he’d simply mentioned to me before – he wants us to have this child soon, to raise him with the Spirit, and grow him in God’s love and way. He’s supposed to be part of our spiritual journey, part of the other elements God revealed in the original revelation. He wants him to grow to be a spiritual leader.
This was a lot to take in. I literally stood up to walk away, get some water or something, but instead fell on my knees and wept. I was overcome with emotions – mostly humility and gratitude. God had listened and answered me, and he had a big dream for us that we were so afraid of before, but now I wanted it to happen. He changed my heart, and my husband’s heart about having a child – and I think that was the biggest demonstration of his power.
I was still sick, however. I had to return to work the next day and I was totally out of it. Between still feeling shocked about what God said to being sick and having to go back to my management job, I wasn’t ready. I felt pathetic. I couldn’t concentrate and I felt like I was in slow motion. I looked terrible and people were pointing it out. I still couldn’t talk or hear well. Plus I was having an anxiety crisis because I realized I couldn’t keep taking the beta blocker if we were going to try to get pregnant, which is what God said to do!
I got home and turned this up to God. I told him bluntly, “You said you want me to have a baby, and you want this to happen now, so I need you to heal my body because I can’t take that medication and be pregnant. I give my physical body to you like everything else I have. Do with me what you need to fulfill your will and purpose, but I know you want this child so whatever is wrong with my heart – heal it, in Jesus Christ name!”
Like I said, I get my prayer tips from David.
But what was beautiful, is the next day, I was alright. I told God I wasn’t going to take that medication. I was going to trust him to keep my body healthy for his future plans. My heart rate returned to normal. My voice came back. My illness left me. I still took time outside of work to rest and recover, but I knew that I’d prayed in accordance to God’s will, he’d answered, and he’d healed me.
Again, I know that was lengthy, and you’re probably trying to figure out where I’m going with this in terms of God’s promise for physical healing. Honestly, this subject is very difficult for me for a lot of reasons. But what I learned in my down time with God is that he has a plan and purpose for everything, even sickness.
I am guilty, sadly, of accusing people of not having enough faith and not being healed because of that. And while I think in some instances, a lack of faith is the problem. The Bible even says that God cannot perform miracles for those who do not believe (note: “cannot” because he will not act outside of his own rules and order). But there are plenty of earnest believers that are not healed, that have permanent illnesses, injuries, deformities, or diseases. What it comes down to is this: we cannot understand God or his purposes. We can only work with what he reveals and seek him desperately for more wisdom and understanding in those circumstances. In some backwards seeming way, God might be protecting us by allowing us to suffer physically. He might be using it as a tool to connect with us, to heal us emotionally or spiritually. Maybe he’s trying to get your attention. Maybe he has your attention but needs to hold it this way. Maybe he’s going to heal you at exactly the right moment for your greatest benefit or the greatest benefit of his kingdom (to provide testimony). Maybe he’s going to let you stay that way to teach others compassion or to teach you to accept help. Maybe he is testing your faith. There are more reasons that I can think of or list!
Just remember, God always works for the good of his children. I learned a lot by turning my sick time into prayer time. He healed me right when it was appropriate, not a moment sooner. There are things I still have, like a broken tailbone, that he hasn’t healed. But I trust him with that. I think physical ailments show us dependency on God. He wants us to rely on him. When we are weak, he his strong – that goes for physical situations too.
God’s promise for physical healing is personal. He ultimately grants us a new body in heaven without pain or illness. But whatever your struggle is, give it to him and trust that no matter what he does, whether it’s healing or not, he is doing it for you, even if there seems to be no reason, no lesson, no hope in it. Trust him to provide for you and to pull you through – not out of – your physical suffering. God’s ways are beyond our comprehension – every type of suffering is a chance to further our faith and dependency on God.
In closing to this series, if you have prayer requests for healing, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, please send them to me! I would love to pray for you. If you like, I can anonymously post your requests for my readers, so they may pray as well!
Write to me or send requests here: firstname.lastname@example.org