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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

On the Subject of Healing - an Opinion Piece

There are times when I am compelled to write.

This is one of those times, and I am fully aware that not all might agree with my opinion.  I will respect that.

I speak from the point of a wounded healer.  I have experienced deep grief in my life, and some of my life story has been made more difficult by those who would convince me that physical healing is to be claimed.

I have prayed often for healing for myself, for various ailments, and found that God has helped me, but not always healed me.

How I have wrestled with this!  But I only tell my story.  When my first husband was dying there were a number of people who believed he would be healed.  They prayed that way, even to the point of putting time limits on it... he would be healed in three days.

Another wanted to take him to a Benny Hinn crusade, believing God would touch him,  My husband was in no condition to travel.  And we responded with the fact we knew, that God could heal anywhere, anytime, and didn't need to go to a healing service to receive God's help.

This was highly confusing for us.  Of course we wanted healing!!  He was only 41.  And it was a source of stress and even guilt when we questioned what was happening to us.  In the end, we had to put ourselves into the loving arms of God and trust Him for the future.

Years later, as I processed what had happened, I came to believe strongly in the sovereignty of God, that I can trust God with the whole picture of my life, and the timeline I and my loved ones have been given.

Do I believe in healing?  Yes.
Do I believe we all will be healed, or if we pray the right way we will be healed?  No.

We cannot control God.  Period.  Stuff happens.  To all, irregardless of faith.  We live in a messed up world, in a contaminated world.  Jesus himself said, "In this world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world."  Is that a reason to say I claim this right now?  I don't think so...

This is a touchy subject with me.  Again when my mom fell ill, and was in hospice, very ready to go to heaven, there were some that wanted to claim her healing.  And it troubled her.
And it happened again with another close family member... to the point where those closest to him were deeply affected and even hurt.

The bottom line is that when people claim healing or force that kind of thinking... even if they are very kind and want the best for you... it becomes a kind of spiritual abuse.

I have seen this kind of thinking in my work as a hospital chaplain.   There are those who simply can't face their death, those who will claim healing right to the end.  And when it doesn't happen, their families are often devastated. There is hope, and then there is false hope.

Ultimately we all will die.  And I believe God is sovereign.

As I accompany dear folks through their last days on earth, I want to share with them a loving, caring God who is with us to the end, and stays with us through that journey of death to ultimate life.  There is assurance in the wonderful presence of a loving God, and we can rest in that.

And there are times where there will be healing.  And I do pray for that, as I feel led to.  But mostly I pray that God would be present, and that there would be comfort in resting in God's love, knowing we can trust Him.

I was triggered this week... triggered by those who would influence, and misguide the vulnerable.  To me it is false teaching and false hope.  Because ultimately we all need the best kind of healing of all, healing for our souls, and the knowledge that with God, we can fully trust any outcome.


6 comments:

George Krahn said...

I have believed this way for so long I can't remember when I came to it. I recommend Philip Yancey's book "Prayer:Does It Make Any Difference". The sovereignty of God is a much ignored aspect of truth when it comes to understanding prayer.

Grace said...

Thank you for your comment. We too have enjoyed Phillip Yanceys book on prayer, and some of his other books on suffering.

Laurie MacKay said...

You have said everything I believe on this subject. A classic well written piece, Grace. Thank you for speaking it to all of us.

April Yamasaki said...

Thank you, Grace, and well said - heart-felt, compassionate, and faithful to God who is with us through all of life, to the end and beyond.

Lorraine Siemens said...

I totally agree with you Grace. Thanks for putting it into words. It is a very painful topic and you are right it is a type of abuse as you described.

Grace said...

I appreciate each comment, reflecting back to me the importance of such a conversation among us. Thank you!