System Of Inequality and Divine Healing?!

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 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2:2

I have been in hot pursuit of divine healing for upwards of twenty years. Healing is promised in the Bible and numerous verses can attest to that fact. I have read them and memorized them and confessed them and put my trust in them and still I am not healed. My pursuit continues.

I read this verse a while back. No doubt familiar to those in search of divine healing  – every book on the subject I have read has included it. But this day, I saw the promise differently.

Instead of seeing it as an iron clad promise of healing, I saw it as an algebraic equation. Weird, right? It struck me as a system of inequalities. On one side of the equation are the variables of prospering and being in good health. On the other side would be the variable of our soul which is our mind, our will and our emotions. Three variables on one side and two on the other.

The question becomes what symbol is between the two sides. Is it an equal sign or not equal, greater than, less than?

My desire to be free of physical pain has so occupied my quest for divine healing that I never even considered the other variables that combine to make my health, holistically speaking.

I simply didn’t care so much about the others; I wanted to live free of physical pain. But God, in His wisdom, knows how much I need all of these variables to be healed if I am going to live the life abundant that has been promised. He is a holistic healer.

I have had to relinquish my ideas about how my healing would manifest and give God permission to heal other areas of my life, even if that means I continue to live with chronic pain while He balances out the equation.

What about you? Are you in need of healing?  I would love to pray for you and join my faith with yours for your healing.

If you have a testimony of how God has healed you, I would love to share it here with others who need encouragement.  

pic credit: pinterest.com

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Why Doesn’t God Heal Him?

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“Could not this man,

who opened the eyes of the blind man,

have kept this man also from dying?”

John 11:37

Our dog Molly gave birth to 9 beautiful puppies. People had placed their deposits and were anxiously counting down the days until they could take their puppy home. Names had been chosen, collars and leashes and toys and puppy chow all lay in wait for the puppies to come to their new home. All systems were go, and then, one day, for no explicable reason, 3 puppies could not use their back legs. They were belly crawling around on the ground and crying. Not from pain, from just not being able to get to mom and nurse. As if that weren’t enough, a fourth puppy was having issues with his front legs; they were terribly bowed out and clearly not supporting him very well. I took one puppy to the vet and she ran many xrays and sent them off to be examined by an Orthopedic Surgeon and several days later came back with this report, “We don’t know”.

We were heartsick. It was terrible to see these puppies like this and to think of breaking the bad news to the families who were expecting their pups in just 3 weeks. But, there was more to it. These puppies are our means of support. Four puppies that we had to return deposits on was a severe financial blow.

My husband mentioned this to people at church and they prayed for these puppies. The pastor and his wife and many good people prayed. Within a week, all four puppies were upright and walking like they were designed to walk! We were all so excited and grateful.

That week, at the Life Group we attended, a man who had prayed for the puppies shared the testimony. Everyone agreed it was a wonderful miracle. Later in the evening, a man shared of his life experiences with physical pain beginning when he was 14. He spoke of morphine and suicide attempts (3) and how the pain had redefined his life and how, at times, he was angry with God for leaving him like this. Everyone agreed it was a horrible way to live.

Driving home that night I couldn’t help but wonder at the irony there. God healed 4 pups that had been alive only 5 weeks, did not serve Him, did not acknowledge Him but left a man who did serve Him, who did acknowledge Him unhealed for decades.

Too many times I have heard pat answers – he doesn’t have enough faith or there is sin in His life. I have been on the giving and receiving end of pat answers to the question – why doesn’t God heal him? Why heal puppies and not this man? Pat answers offer no comfort and usually end up hurting the one who receives them.

I have severe arthritis in my knees that has been there for 41 years and God hasn’t healed me. But He healed the puppies. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for those puppies being healed, but it does beg the question – why them and not this man? Why them and not me?

After 20 years of actively pursuing divine healing, I have come to the same conclusion that those vets came to – I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I know this: I know who my Healer is and He is enough.

P.S. Our prayer group at church is believing for a notable miracle in this man’s life – feel free to join us in prayer for him if you’d like.

National Kick An Object Day!

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 For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.

James 1:20

I bet you didn’t know this day even existed. I didn’t until recently. An eight year old boy, I have the pleasure of working with, got angry because I said “No” to something he wanted. He ran away from where we were standing and ran straight to a small book case and kicked it. Then he turned to see what I was going to do. I asked him to have a seat at the table so we could talk later. He sat, but he also started yelling at me and one thing he yelled was, “well, didn’t you know that it’s National Kick An Object Day?”

When he calmed down, he explained that you kick an object to keep from kicking a person. I am pretty sure I was the intended person. “No” has a way of bringing out anger in this boy and sadly, it does the same to me. I can honestly say I have never kicked someone or even an object that I can remember. I do remember, though, how strangely satisfying it was one day to take a set of plates out to an open field and smash them into rocks. Not that much fun to clean up, however.

I haven’t felt the kind of anger that drove me to break a set of plates in a very long time. But lately, I feel a lot of anger. Some directed at myself, some at others and some at God. He didn’t heal me like I believed He would. I know, I sound as petulant as that boy who kicked the book shelf. I am not proud of this, just saying. Matthew Henry’s commentary says this about this verse:

Instead of blaming God under our trials, let us open our ears and hearts to learn what he teaches by them… We must yield ourselves to the word of God, with humble and teachable minds. Being willing to hear of our faults, taking it not only patiently, but thankfully. It is the design of the word of God to make us wise to salvation; and those who propose any mean or low ends in attending upon it, dishonour the gospel, and disappoint their own souls.

I have been borrowing prayers because I didn’t have any of my own, but I am willing to open my ears and my heart to learn what God is teaching me by this trial. I can pray that He would do just that.  I desire to be wise to salvation, not dishonoring it. I can’t go around claiming National Kick An Object Day every time I don’t get my way without disappointing my own soul and grieving the Holy Spirit of God who lives in me.

So Father God, help me to refrain from acting out in anger. Help me to be willing to go through this trial with an open mind and a willing heart to what you want to teach me through this. Help me to be a place where Your Spirit is pleased to dwell, a place of peace and humility and willingness to trust You when I don’t see the answers I want or think I need. I need Your grace for these things, because we both know, I don’t like the word “no” any better than my 8 year old friend. I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

pic credit: gopixpic.com

 

Evening News

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I’m overwhelmed with sorrow!     

sunk in a swamp of despair!

I’m like someone who goes to the garden to pick cabbages and carrots and corn

 and returns empty-handed,    

 finds nothing for soup or sandwich or salad.

There’s not a decent person in sight.     

Right-living humans are extinct.

They’re all out for one another’s blood,    

 animals preying on each other.

They’ve all become experts in evil.     

Corrupt leaders demand bribes.

The powerful rich make sure they get what they want. 

The best and brightest are thistles.     

The top of the line is crabgrass.

But no longer: It’s exam time.     

Look at them slinking away in disgrace!

Don’t trust your neighbor, don’t confide in your friend.

Watch your words, even with your spouse.

Neighborhoods and families are falling to pieces.     

The closer they are—sons, daughters, in-laws—

The worse they can be.     

Your own family is the enemy.

But me, I’m not giving up.     

I’m sticking around to see what God will do.

I’m waiting for God to make things right.    

 I’m counting on God to listen to me.

Micah 7:7-8

Although this was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, it reads like today’s news. When I first moved to Vancouver from Montana, I was struck by the news at night. One channel from Portland had an hour program and the first 30-40 minutes were devoted to listing the robberies, rapes, murders, etc. They would tell what neighborhoods the crimes happened in and being new to the area,  I would wonder if that was anywhere near me.  My husband was still in Montana and I was here with our son for several months before Bruce could join us. These news stories put fear in me. So I just stopped watching. If the world was falling apart all around me, I’d just as soon not know about it. Have I mentioned before that I am quite fond of denial?

I can’t keep myself from seeing and hearing about the evil things taking place in our world. I am surrounded by it and it is my duty, I think as a Christian, to be light in that darkness. I can’t do that if I pull the covers over my head and think it isn’t happening.

Whatever the events that are bringing fear into your life, into my life, God isn’t ignoring them or us. He hasn’t pulled the covers over His head and chosen to live in denial.  He will make things right, in His time.

There is a “but” in this verse; a turning point in the prophet’s news report. He claims he is not giving up, he is going to stick around to see what God will do.  That strikes me as a good plan. Wait and see the deliverance God will bring. We don’t have to live in fear, no matter the news, no matter the diagnosis, no matter the destruction that is around us. Our God hears our prayers and we can count on that.

Heavenly Father, the news is often scary, the diagnosis is overwhelming and fear rises in me at times. I know I don’t need to fear, but sometimes, I forget that. Would You remind me to fear not? Would You help me to wait in faith to see what only You can do? I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

pic credit: informativostv.com

 

 

The Unstoppables!

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What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it rains a lot. It’s raining as I write. Fox 12 News launched their new promos calling all of us rain-drenched Northwesterners the Unstoppables, proclaiming that we don’t let the rain stop us, we continue with our plans regardless of the rain. I have to admit, that when it comes to doing things in the rain, I am somewhat stoppable.

For a number of years, I let pain stop me. I felt powerless and unable to continue to do the simple things I had taken for granted. It was a season and I am better now and I feel the spirit of unstoppable rising in me. I came to know at a deeper level than I have ever know before that God is for me. And if He is, who or what can be against me and win?

What is making you feel stoppable now?  Financial concerns, a disease, a diagnosis, a persistent, chronic condition that has limited your life, a relationship that has gone terribly wrong?  Whatever it is, however large and insurmountable it seems right now, God is for you.

So, how does that play out in an ordinary day? For me, it was recognizing that I am not alone. I’ll be honest, in the beginning of this trial, when I would call out to God to help me, He was strangely silent. I felt abandoned, hurt, betrayed and alone. I could read a verse like this one and think, yeah, great, maybe for others, but not for me. Or, and I am not proud of this, what good is it that God is on my side, if He does nothing. Ever think thoughts like that?

I took my feelings to God, sometimes crying, sometimes begging, sometimes yelling, sometimes scolding. And He remained silent and the pain persisted. I finally decided that I would choose to believe that He was there, that perhaps He had purposes that I couldn’t understand, purposes that would be better met if I walked this path trusting that He was there even when He didn’t remove the pain or answer my prayers. I wasn’t easy; every time I tried reading the Bible, I could only read a verse or two before closing it. I felt like I was up a brick wall. But I stayed with it.  And soon I could read several verses at a time. That was the birth of my blog.

I have discovered from this that God is for me. He is with me. I might not have tangible evidence of that, but He is there and He is for me. At all times, I have to take that by faith and through this journey with His word, the pain has lessened drastically and I no longer feel alone or stoppable. I know that with God on my side, I am UNSTOPPABLE!

Thank You, God, for being with me, for being for me, for being my Healer, my Champion, my Comforter, my Ever-Present Help. You and I both know that I don’t always see You that way. Forgive me, please, I felt so alone when my prayers seemed unanswered and You seemed so far away. I can see now that Your were there and You were guiding me into a deeper relationship with You, one that is about more than just me and my needs. Thank You for loving me enough to wait for me. Thank You for the healing You have brought into my life and the healing that is still to come. With You I am unstoppable and I am grateful. Amen.

pic credit: Fox 12 News

My Help

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 121

It’s easy to read through a familiar passage of scripture and miss what God is saying. Every time our eyes fall on the word of God, He speaks anew to us if only we have ears to hear. It may be that we have read this psalm a number of times, it may be that we even quote the first lines in difficult times. It is good, though, to come to God’s word like a newbie; like one seeing the words for the very first time. The beauty of this psalm is what makes it so popular. The truths of this psalm are easy to forget in times of pain and stress:

God, who made heaven and earth, is my helper. 

If He could make heaven and earth, is there anything to difficult for Him?

He is not sleeping through my trial,

 He keeps my soul and guards all my day to day in and out movements.

When I feel alone, or can’t sleep, or the pain is driving me crazy, I can take comfort in knowing that He is near, He is not off sleeping somewhere and planning on getting caught up on my life later. He hasn’t put me on hold or transferred my call to someone else. He is intimately acquainted with all my ways and He is my help.

Sometimes, for me, that begs the question – then why not just end the pain?  Why not just take it away? Much as I wish I had an answer to that, I don’t. One day, His reasons will become clear, until then I can trust in His goodness to me and His help that is available to me through this trial.

Lord, how I want to take comfort from this psalm. Right now I have having difficulty doing that. How fickle my feelings can be. When the pain subsides, I know You to be my helper, but when I am in pain like I am right now, I question that. Forgive me for being so fickle. Shore up my faith, help me to stand firm on Your word, and help me to sink deep into Your arms. Thank You for being my 24/7 helper for keeping my soul and guarding my life and protecting me from evil. Thank You for loving me even when I am resistant to that love. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

  • pic credit  paisburns.com

Paths of Righteousness

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Thursday,  I had yet another doctor’s appointment.  It went how I expected it to, we agreed that surgery because of carpal tunnel syndrome was the next step and referrals were made to the surgeon and to the doctor who would test my nerves in my hands to see how much damage had been done.  In the past news like that would knock the breath out of me.  But not yesterday.  What was the difference?

I have been renewing my mind by writing these posts.  The doctors (as good as they are) don’t have all the answers; they do not have the final word.  The final word belongs to God.  He is my Healer and He has the final word.  Can He use doctors and surgery?  Yes.  Does He always?  No.

I don’t have His answer yet, but I will, and I have peace knowing that surgery or not, He is in control.  He leads me in paths that are right for me and that may just mean surgery.  Twice before when either I or my son needed surgery, God’s healing came before the surgery.  I am hopeful, but I am also seeking His will, His path for me in this.  Would you be willing to pray for me towards that end?

One thing I have learned in the past 18 years of pursuing divine healing is that there is no one path fits all.  Just as when the Israelites were told to take possession of the promised land, God lead them one battle at a time, one victory at a time.  The cities weren’t taken the same way.  If I am looking for a formula for healing, I will be sorely disappointed;  I simply don’t believe there is one.  What I do believe though is that the Lord is my Shepherd and He leads me in the path that leads to my healing.  My part is simply to follow.  Even if it means surgery.

Are you in need of healing?  Can I join you in prayer that God would lead you in the path that is right for you?

Jesus, my Good Shepherd, thank You for leading me in the paths that are right for me.  My healing is in Your hands, help me to follow, to lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge You.  Thank You for the peace that surpasses all comprehension as I await Your answer.  Thank You for leading me to my promised land and helping me to be victorious in inheriting the promises You paid for.  Amen.

 

Just Close Your Mouth!

The other day, I was around several other women and all at once we began sneezing. It was the weirdest thing.  Two of the women started talking about their allergies and I listened for a few moments.  I started to put in on that conversation actually thinking I could trump them with all the allergies I have been diagnosed with but then I realized something.  If I am healed, if I believe that has been taken care of and it is a done deal, then the words that come out of my mouth should reflect that belief.  I thought of all the times I had spoken words calling them my allergies and had pretty much accepted that since I had had them all my life, I would no doubt have them for the rest of my life.  I kept my mouth shut and reminded myself that they aren’t my allergies – they belong to the devil and I will no longer sign for that package every time he tries to deliver it.  Healed is healed and while sometimes I have symptoms in my body that would tell me otherwise, I have only to look at the beaten body of Jesus to remember that by His stripes I am healed and the words of my mouth need to line up with that fact, not with these symptoms.

Our confessions are important, we are created in the image of the God who spoke the universe into being.  Our words have creative power.  My sister’s pastor is fond of saying that we are the prophets of our own lives.  How true!  Jesus didn’t say we would have what we feel; He said we would have what we say.

Proverbs 18: 20 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.  What fruit are you eating? What did you speak into existence?  What package did you sign for?

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Remember the saying from the movie “Bambi”  – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  Well, my paraphrase of that would be – if you can’t speak words of life and healing, just close your mouth!

Father, help me to speak words of life.  Help me remember that my words have power and help me to use them wisely.  Help me also to remember that these symptoms are not “my” symptoms and that Jesus took care of those symptoms on the cross.  Thank You that because of Jesus I can walk in divine health.  Amen.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Now Choose Life!

I woke up the other morning in a terrible funk.  It was 1 am and I had difficulty returning to sleep.  The problem was severe pain in my left hand.  Enough pain to nauseate me and keep me awake and cause me once again to question divine healing.  I have been reading a book entitled “You Can Be Healed – How to Believe God for Your Healing”  by Billy Joe Daugherty.  He was our pastor in Tulsa for five years.  I loved him and loved that church. The problem in those early morning hours was one that had been darting in and out of my mind for days.  One of the last chapters in the book is called “How to Live Longer”.  He wrote about Psalm 90:10 which says’ “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” and numerous other verses that promise long life. He talked about making our words line up with the Word of God and building our faith and such.  He wrote about how death is our giving up our breath, not succumbing to disease that takes us out early.  All good stuff.  All Biblical stuff.   The stumbling block to me that week and that early am was just this….  Pastor Billy Joe died before he was 60 of cancer.

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As I lay there that morning my thoughts ran like this – if God didn’t heal him, a pastor, who devoted his life to ministering to people, ushering countless thousands of people into the kingdom of God and witnessing miracles of healing too numerous to count, then what chance did I have of being healed?  I am a homemaker, a mother, a wife, a grandmother.  My greatest success in a day is getting dinner done and not leaving the kitchen totally trashed.  And some days even that doesn’t happen.

I continued along in this line of thought no doubt because of pain and low serotonin until I started building a case against me being able to receive healing from God. But when I got out of bed that morning I opened my devotional and read this verse: Romans 8:32 -He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

I gotta say it brought me to my knees and to my senses.  God is not holding back on me.  I can’t answer why I still have so much pain when I believe (most of the time) for my healing.  And I can’t answer why Pastor Billy Joe died before 60 but I do know that I can choose to look at the stumbling blocks that cause me to doubt or I can look at the promises God gave me in His Word.  But I can’t do both.  The choice is mine.

untitled (8)In Deuteronomy,  the people of God are given the choice of choosing life or choosing death.  Seems like a no brainer, but God knew it wasn’t.  He gave the answer, choose life.  “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

Looking at the unhealed, cataloging the pain,  listing evidences that would tell me that God doesn’t heal today or won’t heal today is choosing death.  Looking at the promises of God is choosing life and the choice is mine.  Today,  I choose life. Among the first words Pastor Billy Joe’s wife Sharon said publicly after his death were words spoken in connection with diving healing.  She said, “I still believe”.

In spite of the pain that would tell me otherwise, I too, still believe.

Father forgive me for doubting Your goodness and Your willingness to give me all things?  Even healing.  You didn’t hold back Your own son and You are not holding back on me now.  Help me to look beyond the stumbling blocks and the unanswered questions so that I can fix my faith on You and goodness.  Amen.

Donuts With Diane

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One day at work recently it was “Pastries with Parents Day” at the school.  A number of the kids I work with weren’t going to be able to go because their parents could not take them.  In an effort to appease them, I offered to have “Donuts with Diane Day”.  I told them I would bring donuts and they could all have one.  They were appeased; in fact, they were very excited.  One boy, though, was grumbling about it saying that I would probably only get the small white donuts that come in packages and what a rip-off that would be.  I was somewhat offended by this; why would he question my generosity like that?

It reminds me of this passage from II Kings  (Message Bible):

Elisha said, “Listen! God’s word! The famine’s over. This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing.”

The attendant on whom the king leaned for support said to the Holy Man, “You expect us to believe that? Trapdoors opening in the sky and food tumbling out?”

“You’ll watch it with your own eyes,” he said, “but you will not eat so much as a mouthful!”

If you read on you will see that this man got trampled at the gate by the throngs of people coming to get food the king had from plundering the Aramean camp.  He didn’t get so much as a mouthful.

It hurt my feelings that this boy thought so little of what I was prepared to do for him.  I can’t even imagine what it does to God when we doubt His goodness.  Goodness He has proven over and over and over again.   Romans 8:32 says:  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

The man in this story that scoffed the word of the Lord missed out on the blessing God had intended for him.  He also paid for that scoffing with his life.  I doubt that you or I will get trampled at the gate if we scoff at God’s Word, but we will definitely miss out on the blessings He has prepared for us.  Whatever the reason for healing being delayed it isn’t because God is holding out; it isn’t because God is stingy or unwilling.  Other factors could be at work hindering the blessing.  We need to settle in our hearts once and for all that God is good and His mercy and compassions fail not.

You are a great and merciful God and I praise You.  You are worthy of all honor, all praise, all glory.  You sent Your Word and healed my disease, how can I thank You enough for that? I open my heart, my life, my hands today to receive all the blessings You have prepared for me.  Forgive me for the times I have limited You by my doubts.  I know I can count on Your goodness and Your love for me.  Amen.