At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. (Luke 4:40)
When addressing the topic of bodily healing, it’s extremely tempting to do a lot of “tap dancing” in order to avoid the proverbial elephant in the room – we have all prayed for someone who did not get better. I experienced it first hand in 2002 with the death of my father. Where do we go from there?
Despite what we may have experienced, however, there is plenty of Biblical evidence to support the belief that Jesus desires to bodily heal those who are sick. Because of that evidence, I always pray for that healing when I learn of someone who is ill.
It may sound like I’m contradicting myself, but I don’t believe that to be the case and here’s why – even though all the Biblical evidence supports Jesus’ ability and desire to heal the sick, sometimes it is more beneficial for Him to either delay or deny the bodily healing.
In the gospels, Jesus sometimes heals in stages (the blind man in Mark 8:22-26), sometimes the healing is delayed (the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 who weren’t healed until they left Jesus’ presence). Jesus even allowed Lazarus to die (John 11:1-45) because He had something greater in mind.
The process of healing is a mystery. I don’t know why some individuals are restored to health immediately and others aren’t. What I do know, however, is that every time someone approached Jesus asking for a healing (either for themselves or someone else), a healing was granted. Even Lazarus (who was allowed to die) was granted something even better than a bodily healing – resurrection from the dead.
So much of our faith in Jesus involves trust. Sometimes we aren’t able to understand why He does what He does. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus can heal the sick. And, based on that, I will continue to ask Him to do so. But because He sees the big picture, however, I’m going to trust Him when that bodily healing is delayed or doesn’t take place. I really do believe that He knows how to deliver the right healing at the right time.
I’ll close with one final thought. We typically pray for healing to ease suffering and bring about peace of mind, but there are many healthy people in the world who are miserable and many chronically or terminally ill people who are totally at peace. Sometimes the healing we seek isn’t the one we really need. Jesus always knows the type of healing that is needed. That’s a very good thing.
Let not your heart be troubled!