Just about every disabled person has a “healing” story. To be quite honest, disabled Christians can very easily sit around and crack jokes about “that one time I got prayed over.” Well, some of us crack jokes. Most of us cry while we try to joke because there’s nothing else we can do.
Asking God for healing for a disabled loved one is a beautiful thing. I’ve done it myself. There’s something amazing about realizing you’re entering into the Presence of the God who has the power to heal. I believe physical healing still happens today. But, Americans especially, have skewed the Biblical meaning of healing quite well.
I was six years old and the church we attended was my favorite place to be. Everyone knew my disabilities and everyone, for the most part, accepted me despite the fact that I “looked funny.” A darling, godly, older woman approached me one Sunday, took hold of my hand and said, “If you have faith I know that what I’m about to pray will heal you. If you don’t have enough faith to capture that healing, I believe I have enough faith to stand in the balance.”
What I heard? (Remember, I was six) “Cassie, it’s all your fault if you don’t wake up in the morning without Cerebral Palsy. But I have this magic trick we’ll praise God for that will totally heal you because God is love.” I woke up the next morning and my Cerebral Palsy wasn’t gone. … I spent the next while doing my best to not be alone with the well-intentioned woman because I didn’t want to have to look her in the eye and ask her if she thought my child-like faith just wasn’t enough. I was afraid of the answer.
It had nothing to do with my “faith-level” and it had nothing to do with my friend’s ability to “perform healing” well. Nothing. It had everything to do with the fact that healing me was not to benefit God’s glory nor was it actively proclaiming His presence to anyone that needed that proof.
I’m going to say something that may get my fellow comrades ready to kill me. The reality is, God has “shown up” for more nonbelievers by keeping me in this wretched body than He probably could have by giving me a story that sounds very much like a “once upon a time, you’ll never believe it, but…”
At the same time, God has come into more conversations because people quickly figure out I don’t form my hand in that uncomfortable position because it’s “fun.” If I didn’t have my body and seizures as a prop, I’m seriously convinced God would rarely come up in conversation. People say I’m outgoing and bold. The only successful vehicle God has used to make me that way is my deformed body. Why would He make something obsolete that He’s using so well?
Don’t stop praying for healing for those God has laid on your heart to pray for. But don’t be surprised if you feel as if His answer is a loving, yet firm, “no.” Healing is often prayed for out of convenience yet we promise God we’ll “praise Him forever if…” That is not the original intention of the miracle and gift of healing.
What it boils down to? When you pray for healing, God’s greatest, eternal gift may be the healing of a broken, bitter and confused heart.