Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
II Corinthians 12:8
Don’t we all just hate that word – “NO”. It doesn’t matter the request, how reasonable, how mature or immature, how ridiculous or necessary the request seems to be, no is just not the answer we want. For reasons I may never know, I believe I have asked enough, I have prayed enough and healing doesn’t seem to be something that God is saying yes to, at least not right now, for me.
Whatever the thorn in Paul’s side was (and there are many possible explanations for it), Paul asked three times and the answer came back “No”. So Paul moved on. Our pastor did a beautiful sermon on this and he commented that these three times were just three asks, but three seasons of asking. And still the answer was no. And Paul did what I am trying now to do, move on, accept that this is what it is, until it isn’t, and rely on God’s grace to move on in spite of the pain.
When the pain first hit over five years ago, I met it with denial. Every night I went to bed believing that tomorrow I would be better; this is a pulled muscle, a cramp, I slept wrong, whatever, but it would be gone – tomorrow. That Scarlet O’Hara mentality never did serve me well. When it became apparent that it wasn’t a temporary thing, I moved into the anger phase of grieving. I yelled, I cried, I pulled away from God, I threw fits. This didn’t serve me very well either. Then came bargaining – if I confess enough scriptures on healing, pray enough, have enough people lay hands on me, be anointed with oil enough, eat the right supplements, do enough juicing, rebounding, detoxing, cleanses etc., I will be healed. While those things did serve me better, they didn’t get me healed.
So my pastor comes along and says sometimes, we just need to accept that it is what it is. First time I heard someone say those words to me, I wanted to kick them in the shins. But this day, I heard those words with grace and compassion and I knew that it was time for me to accept that this is what it is. For days, I couldn’t stop the tears. Then for days, I could stop the tears, but I couldn’t talk to anyone for fear of tears starting again. Then the tears were finished and the emotional pain of being told no began to heal and I am moving on.
I still believe in diving healing, I still believe God’s desire and will is to heal and that He has the power to do so. But I know from being a parent that sometimes, the hardest answer I can tell my child is “no”. And sometimes for reasons that they may never understand, sometimes “no” is the answer that serves them best at this moment in their life, which doesn’t mean no forever.
Jesus, You know how I am struggling to accept this. I want to, I need to, You have led me to this point and I want to be willing and obey. But I also want to be healed, three or five years ago. Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done. Help me to focus on You and the good things in my life that don’t always scream as loudly as the pain and grant me the grace to truly move on. I ask in Your gracious name, amen.
pic credit: emmanuelbangkok.org