The woman sitting next to me in the car had a long history of undiagnosed illness. Life had been a struggle for many years and she could not see any immediate solution. She was desperately longing for healing.
“If only I knew what’s wrong with me!” She shook her head while remembering the many people who had stared blankly at her when she tried to explain her symptoms.
People are wired for understanding. The flip side is that we tend to reject whatever we don’t comprehend.
Her disease had left her fatigued. Isolated. Misunderstood.
“I wish I had a diagnosis. That would give my testimony credibility once God heals me!”
My heart went out to her. I recognized her train of thought. Subconsciously, she was bargaining with God.
I’ve met many like her. They have been ignored and abused for so long. Some have suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and have spent all they have, only to find that they are getting worse. Sounds familiar? Who could blame them for asking legitimate questions?
Lord, I want to know what’s wrong with me to get the acknowledgement of others. I’ll tell everyone of your healing, as long as you don’t let me be ashamed. Give me a name for my condition. This has been my identity for so long. Let me know who I am.
At the mercy of the professionals
Sometimes, some conditions are too rare to be diagnosed. Doctors may recognize that it’s a serious, life-altering condition, possibly genetic, but they are unable to determine exactly which disease they are facing. Likewise, it may be impossible to cure rare illnesses. Some doctors shy away from whatever they can’t fix. Their insecurity threatens their identity as doctors, as curers, as knowledgeable stewards of insight. They would rather leave the patient scared and alone than admit to their own uncertainty.
Not all doctors are like that. Thank God for good physicians who are driven by compassion and wisdom rather than their need for affirmation.
What used to be important doesn’t matter anymore
At one point, I, too, longed for acknowledgment. Affirmation. A positive prognosis. Adrian was such a rare bird that no-one knew what to do with him. Mind you, that didn’t stop the most ignorant ones from having an opinion. Thankfully, we were covered by an excellent physician with a humble servant’s heart. No, I’m not talking about Jesus. Not this time. But we were blessed to get to know one of his friends.
I looked at the woman sitting next to me. She wanted to know so badly. To be seen. Acknowledged.
“It only matters to you before you are healed.”
She looked at me quizzically before hope superseded her fear and made her eyes sparkle with wonder.
“Once you’ve been healed you couldn’t care less.”
It’s true. I did not realize before telling her, but it was true. Once you’ve seen the miracle-working power of the living God, you don’t care what other people think. You are just grateful. Astounded. Amazed. Out of words. Wrecked. Yielded.
Some will miss out
When Adrian was healed people rejoiced with us. Even those who didn’t know Jesus were excited that to hear that a 12-year-old boy got a life and a future.
But a very limited number of people called to tell us that they disapproved. They were provoked by how he was healed and where it happened. I was amazed by such ignorant pride, only vaguely disguised by their Pharisaic claims and Christianese terms.
God had healed Adrian because he is the Healer. Who am I to judge what God does or how he chooses to do it?
I was never hurt or offended by the unsolicited calls. Their judgment had nothing to do with me or my family. My son was just as healed as he had been before they called. The miracle that we had experienced was every bit as wonderful, regardless of their disapproval. We shook the dust off our feet and moved on. But they missed out on the joy of the miracle.
Embracing God’s wonder
My friend from the car trip seeks God’s face wholeheartedly. Whenever the hem of his garment is within reach, she will recognize the move of God and embrace it.
Meanwhile, she can rest in the arms of the Father. There’s no place she’d rather be.