Why Won't God Heal Me?

No one enjoys being sick. If we suffer through the flu or a nasty cold, we are relieved to be well again. During the dismal days of illness, it is easy for us to take for granted the greater number of days that we enjoyed good health. And yet for some people sickness never subsides. Persistent disease can grind down even the strongest person.

We do not know if he was paralyzed from birth or through some unfortunate accident. But we do know that he and his friends trusted that Jesus could heal him. They were so confident Jesus would help that they lowered their ailing friend on his mat from a rooftop – suspending him directly in front of Jesus! His desperation to be made whole was clear to everyone.

And yet, Jesus says to him, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven" (Matthew 9:2). How disappointed the paralyzed man may have felt at that moment! He did not come asking forgiveness, but healing. The man knew what he wanted, but he didn't know what he needed. Jesus knew both his needs and his wants. And by granting forgiveness of sins first, Jesus shows our greater need for spiritual health. To prove his ability to meet all of our unseen spiritual needs, Jesus proceeded to then heal his body before the eyes of all.  

Sin brought sickness and death into this world. Our sicknesses give us only a little taste of the misery we would suffer eternally separated from the Lord's blessings in hell. But Jesus, the Son of God, consistently displayed his power over sickness and death. Even as God brought the greatest blessing of forgiveness for us all through the crucifixion of Christ, we can trust him to bring blessings for us from the least likely of places. Even sickness must serve God's purposes. He may use it to strengthen our reliance on him, sharpen our focus on heaven, or produce patience and perseverance in us. When the apostle Paul groaned repeatedly over his "thorn in the flesh," the Lord promised: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul learned to rely more and more on the Lord's strength rather than his own. You, too, may be confident that the Lord loves you consistently in sickness or in health!

As the Son of God, Jesus Christ not only has the power to heal, but the willingness to heal. We read that Jesus healed "all" of their diseases (Matthew 12:15; 14:35-36). When Jesus doesn't grant my immediate requests, I must humbly trust that he has even better things in mind for me! After all, ‘"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:9). Eventually, he will answer my prayers by personally wiping every tear from my eyes and making everything new (Revelation 21:4-5). Even my body will finally be made whole without the effects of sickness or sin!  

Meanwhile trust His promise that, "I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11) and also patiently trusting that "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). 

PRAYERFUL THOUGHTS: Dear Jesus, repeatedly you showed your willingness and power to heal. Help me believe that you want only – and always – what is best for me body and soul. Forgive me for treating you as though you were my own personal genie in a bottle to grant my every request. Help me humbly say, "Your will be done." Help me to repent of impatience and doubt, that I may again rejoice in forgiveness and faith. Great Physician, who suffered patiently for me, help me trust you in all things, realizing that nothing "will be able to separate [me] from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:38-39). Not even sickness or death. Amen.