There is this famous Mark Twain quote: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” Well right now I am struggling with some parts that I thought I understood, but maybe I was mistaken. I was reading my Bible the other morning and came across this verse “your faith has made you well.” It appears more than once in the gospels, and it is Jesus speaking to someone who has come in faith to him for healing. Because of their faith they receive the healing that they are asking for. Beautiful right?
The meaning appears to be clear – the person believed that Jesus could heal them, the person asked Jesus to heal them, expecting a positive outcome, and the person received what they asked for. Yet today my husband has a headache. He asked Jesus to heal him. He did not ask for healing in order to appear righteous, he did not ask in order to put on a show, he did not ask because that is what we as Christians are expected to do. He asked Jesus to heal him because he knew that Jesus loves him, and he believes that Jesus wants him to be well. He went to Jesus because he had faith in Jesus, and he had faith to be healed. Yet he still has a headache. But because he believes that Jesus can heal him, he asked me to pray for him too. I believe what the Bible says. I believe that when people came to Jesus for healing, he healed them. I believe the Bible also clearly tells me, and every other believer, that we are to pray for the sick and see them healed. I prayed for my husband out of obedience to the Bible, out of concern for my husband, and because I believe that Jesus hears me when I pray. And yet my husband still has a headache.
It is not the first time when I think I understand something and yet it does not work out quite the way I have assumed it should. Many years ago, when I was beginning to question this situation some people would tell me that I do not have enough faith, and that is why I am not seeing the results I desire. How are we supposed to respond to a comment like that? I tried to read more testimonies of healings, both in the New Testament and much more recently. I tried to pray more, to come closer to the Lord so that I would have more faith. Yet as important as that may be, I do not think it is the full solution.
Reading all of the Scriptures is important, and I have come to realize that although the Holy Spirit does highlight certain verses on different occasions, it is imperative that we know more of the complete picture. When I feel that the Lord is not answering my prayers for healing immediately I have two choices – give up or continue to pray. Something I am very aware of in our culture is that we are not very good at waiting. We no longer save for those items we want; we buy them now and pay for them later. And when we pray for something and do not receive the answer we would like we often give up. Yet the Bible tells us to ask and keep on asking.
There is a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in these days, and we are beginning to see more demonstrations of his power. We have had a few healings at our church. I want to see more. I want to see my husband healed of this migraine headache that has plagued him for over three months now. Neither his faith nor my faith has brought him to healing yet, but the answer is not to give in and not to give up praying. We press on, we keep praying, we keep asking and we keep trusting that all that God has promised will be fulfilled.