How to deal with sickness. God didn’t heal me, and I am happy about it.
OK, to give you some context, a short intro. (Warning, if you’re looking for a quick answer, there isn’t one, keep reading)
Somewhere in 2012 I broke my back. Small accident, BIG consequences. Long story short (I won’t bother you with lots and plenty of terrible stories, don’t worry):
- Multiple operations, not a great success.
- Lost one lung, it drowned.
- Lymphoid problems for the rest of my life.
- Two suicide attempts.
- Serious memory damage, after about one week everything is gone.
- Addiction problems.
- Officially handicapped.
- Lost job, friends, family, house and more.
Humanly speaking disastrous. And yes, I don’t wish anybody should go through all of that. Not on the person itself, also not on their family and friends. It’s terrible for all of them, and when you go through all of that, they suffer as well. A lot.
And yes, I did pray for healing and other people prayed for it as well. Just as the bible tells us:
Is anyone among you sick? He must call for the elders (spiritual leaders) of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.James 5:14-15
And i do believe that God can heal:
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.Psalms 147:3
However, it did not happen. Nothing physically healed. Why? Let’s look at a prayer Jesus himself prayed:
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be doneLuke 22:42
Jesus himself prayed… and what Jesus asked for… did not happen. What did happen, was God’s will. Was it easy for Jesus? No. Just after this prayer.. Jesus was taken prisoner, beaten, tortured and crucified and died for you and me.
Jesus could have chosen not to go that path, since Jesus is God. But even Jesus (let alone you and me) prayed:
Yet not my will, but yours be done
Yes, I do truly believe that God can heal…. if He wants to. But if He does not want to, it will not happen, since He has a better plan. Full stop.
But how about this verse:
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.John 14:13-14
How about my health, and how do I deal with it? Why am a happy that God did not heal me?!
Let’s have a look at this verse from Paul. You know him! It’s Paul from the bible! The Paul that was given the power to heal, the Paul that wrote bible books, THE Paul.
Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:7b – 10
The Paul had a thorn in the flesh… we don’t know what it was. A bad back? A depression? We don’t know. But Paul prayed for it 3 times, so it doesn’t sound like much fun to me. And THE Paul… was not healed…
Did Paul get angry at God? Did He keep praying for years and years and keep repeating what he already prayed for? No, he prayed three times and this is what Paul said:
So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
Talking about Paul, the Paul who Jesus gave the power to heal… get this: Paul his big friend Timothy got sick. Paul / God did not heal Timothy, Paul gave timothy this advice:
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.1 Timothy 5:23
So, no, not everybody does get healed, even Paul did not get healed, Timothy did not get healed. Only if God thinks the best plan is to heal you, He will. But if God has a better plan.. That better plan will happen.
How about me? Here comes a little bit of God’s big plan:
In all honesty, because of all of it:
- I’ll never have (and can) work commercially again. God has set me free from that.
- That does mean I can “work” 24/7 for God. Full time. And share His great message about who Jesus is and what He did for you and me.
- I can speak with people who are going through circumstances I went through, and know (from experience) how they feel, how tough life can be. And it does make a LOT of difference if you talk from “books” or theoretical knowledge or from your own experience. They know, and feel it.
- Because of my memory loss, I can have conversations with them about even the most terrible things that they are going through. Abuse, loss, suicidal feelings, and worse…
- I got all the time in the world, to write this down, (laying on my bed) studying it and sharing the story with you. Today. Share the story of Jesus, who died for you and me. For God’s glory, not mine.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
So yes, when Paul says:
Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
I do get it, and I’m very(!) content with it. Very. What a HUGE blessing it is!
And if people know my story and still want to pray for healing… I refuse. And if they keep pushing, I walk away.
The same as Paul, I am very(!) content with it, I feel super blessed and truly see it as a HUGE gift from God.
To state it more bluntly: I find it a huge insult, to God, if people (if they know my story) try to lay hands on me and pray for healing. If God would have liked to heal me, He would have done so. He is powerful enough to do so, and I trust Him in that. 110%.
But He gave me a WAY better thing and a HUGE gift. God had a better plan than just my physical health. Physical health is nothing compared to God’s plan. And if you get that… you are free with God’s freedom. What else do you want?
And yes, the pain is there, 24/7, the disability is there, 24/7, and humanly speaking my body is done for. You might not see it if you see me the first time, but you’ll see it when you watch carefully. The pain is sometimes (humanly speaking) excruciating, but God’s freedom given to me though His grace, gives me another perspective and the pain is way different.
The depression is gone, and in all honesty, that was the most difficult. So, no, God did not heal my back, lungs, Lymphoid problems, and a couple of more things, but He did heal the depression! I did see His light. And in comparison to the physical problems I still have today… It’s nothing in comparison to the depression. That was a killer.
Only after I 110% gave up, and gave it back to God, He has set me free from it. He was the one to fix it, not me. In His time, not mine.
Thank God for all He has done for me.
Hang on! So, you say that God gave you this accident? No, i do not.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 5: 6-11
It was not God who gave me the sickness, it was the devil. But God was way more powerful, and turned it around for His glory. Therefore, if you’re angry about your sickness, be angry! To the right person: the devil. He did this to you. Nevertheless, do trust God, He is way more powerful than the devil, and He wants to turn it around and use it for His glory. Trust Him. If you don’t trust Him, you will lose. If you do trust Him, you will always win for eternity.
Do I wish everybody should have the same experience as me? Yes and no.
Let’s be honest, the way to the outcome was hard. Not only on me, but also on everybody around me. I don’t wish that for anybody to happen. Let’s be very clear about that.
I do wish, however, everybody the same outcome. Getting closer to God, trusting His plan, God has a plan… and maybe we don’t see it (yet), He does. And I truly wish everybody could see that while they are still alive. I really do.
Perhaps you read this and you think: yeah, great, but what about me?
If you are going through a VERY hard time right now, some top tips for you:
- Do trust God. There might come a time that He is the only one who does stay…. trust Him and you will make it.
- Maybe God does not heal your body… He will heal your mind. With God, there is truly freedom. Without God, you’ll keep fighting against yourself and others.
- Go see a doctor if needed. Luke (who wrote the Gospel of Luke and probably the book of acts) was a doctor…. Paul advised his friend Timothy to take medication.
- If you don’t get healed after you prayed for it, don’t doubt your faith! God has a better plan, trust Him. He decided something better for His glory, although (I get it, that can be frustrating) you don’t see it yet. He does. Trust Him, fear not.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].Philippians 4:6-7
If you know somebody who does go through a VERY hard time:
- Never, ever, leave them alone. God has a plan, trust Him and keep fighting for a good cause. Yes, it might take years, but it’s worth it. Have patience and fight for God and your friend. If you leave them, you not only go against God’s will, but it could easily kill them. Literary.
- Yes, I know. When people get sick, they might not be the easiest people to deal with… on the contrary. But trust God, do what He tells us to do, and He will help.
Carry each other’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.Matthew 25:44-45
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.Job 42:10
So in the end… I’m so happy that God did follow His plan, and not mine. His plan was way better.
And yes, humanly speaking there are still plenty of things I would like Him to fix… but it’s His plan, He knows, and if He wants to fix it, He will do it. But if not: I am so blessed with what He gave me. What else do I need. All praises to Him.