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By: Lindsay Willett
It was the first night of our Bible study, and our leader asked us to share about what Jesus had done in our lives. When it was Ashton’s turn, she surprisingly announced, “Jesus used cancer to save my life!” Having never heard cancer described so positively, I got chills as I waited for more of the story.
Cancer motivated Ashton to return to her family and get help with a drug addiction. When she became sober and the doctors removed her tumor, the rest of her cancer had disappeared. God healed her!
But why doesn’t that kind of supernatural healing happen for everyone? What about me?
I’m struggling with health right now, to the point where I can’t work. During this time, I’ve learned some facts about God’s tender heart and why He might allow us to remain sick for a season.
God delights in healing.
During Jesus’ time on earth, a leper came to Him, begging to be healed (Mark 1:40). Jesus was “moved with pity” (Mark 1:41, ESV) and chose to heal him. Yet this man went on to spread the news despite Jesus’ command not to, so Jesus became uncomfortably famous. He “could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places” (Mark 1:45). Yet Jesus allowed this to happen, and gave up His own comfort because He had compassion on one hurting person.
But if Jesus is alive, why isn’t He still moved by our pain today? Why does He choose to heal some people and not others?
God won't heal us until we can handle it.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:9-10, “Which of you, if your son asks for…a fish, will give him a snake?” He makes the point that, as God’s children, if we ask Him for something we think is good, God won’t give us something that will harm us instead.
If God had healed Ashton from her cancer while she was on drugs, she admits she never would have stopped. Yet God had more in store for her life, so He waited until she was in a place where she could handle being healed.
Someone once told me that God gets our attention the most through pain, as it cuts to our core. God humbles us through our illnesses, teaching us the importance of rest, ridding us of self-reliant thoughts, and pulling us out of destructive relationships and lifestyles.
But what if you’ve asked God for healing, believe you’re ready for it, and He hasn’t healed you yet?
We may not understand why God waits to heal, but we can hold onto who He is.
The Bible says that God is a perfect Father (Matthew 5:48). Try to imagine what a perfect Father would be like. Would He enjoy seeing His children in pain? Absolutely not! If God allows an illness to remain in our lives, the payoff must be infinitely better than the pain (Romans 8:18). Maybe He wants to grow our faith; maybe He wants to help someone else. If we don’t understand why, trust that He does.
God promises through our relationship with Him that we will be healed — whether in this life or the next (Philippians 3:21, 2 Corinthians 5:1-4). Ask God for healing, ask what He wants to teach you through the pain, and trust Him to guide you. Hold onto the hope that you won’t be hurting forever (Revelation 21:4-5).
Article courtesy of NewSpring Church