Does healing always come when we pray? Some people say “yes, healing always comes when we pray. You just may not have enough faith to receive it.” That sounds like a very trite and simple answer especially to someone in pain. When Saint Paul asked for his thorn in the flesh to be removed, God replied; “My grace is sufficient for you.” There have been numerous studies on Paul’s thorn in the flesh by people more educated than me. You should check with a minister, a library, or a bookstore if you wish to study Paul’s thorn in detail.
Is it greater for someone to receive complete physical healing or for God to give them the grace to live with the situation the way it is? Is God being more gracious or merciful when He completely heals a person? Is it what the person does that determines God’s action in their life? Is God completely arbitrary in deciding who is healed? These are the questions I want to examine. I ask these questions frequently because I live my life in a wheelchair.
First, let me say that so far I have had a pretty good life. I haven’t known serious hunger, I have always had a roof over my head, and have been able to do just about anything that a person without the use of their legs can do. However, there are times that that I question “what would my life be like if God chose to heal me?” Apparently, it is a moot question since I’m not able to walk in this body. God has given me grace to get through some pretty awful situations; a back surgery gone awry, a near death experience, my parents bitter divorce and being in a wheelchair. I thank Him for the grace to deal with all of these things.
So, how does God decide which person gets healed and which person does not? I believe the key is which condition will bring more glory to God. I am a living testimony of God’s grace every day that I wake up. He gives me the courage and ability to go on with my life. Does that show God’s grace better than someone who is miraculously healed and able to walk? I don’t know which is greater. Perhaps God can see that I would literally run to sin if I had the use of my legs. Maybe it is better to be inconvenienced here and reach heaven rather than be walking here and end up in hell. What about someone like Joni Earickson? She has no use of her legs and extremely limited use of her arms. Does God get more glory from her condition? Yes, she has been a powerful witness of God’s grace. She has been instrumental in bringing numerous people to a closer relationship with God.
I personally know people who have been completely healed of their condition. This also brings glory to God. Only He knows what will bring Him more glory; Whether someone is healed or they are given the grace to live for Him the way they are.
As for the other questions I asked, I don’t know the answers. I do not believe that God is malicious or capricious. I have to believe that God knows the answers and trust Him. That’s where I’m putting my faith.