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The Healing Question

Psalm 16:8-11 (NIV)

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

I live in a constant dichotomy between yearning for Leah, wishing that she was here with me and knowing that where Leah is now, she is safe and loved to perfection by her Heavenly Father.

Recently the question of healing has come up several times in conversation with different people and I have been asked for my opinion.

I believe in divine healing and I believe that God still heals today. I also however believe that God is sovereign and that He alone decides who will be healed, not us.

There seems to be a huge emphasis on healing in some Christian circles these days. That’s great if you or your loved one receives healing, but what’s it like for those who move in these circles and who don’t receive healing either for themselves or for their nearest and dearest? Then, they not only have their illness or bereavement to contend with, they may also be left feeling like second class Christians, or worse still, like spiritual outcasts or rejects.

In 1985 a lovely friend of mine called Sandra was diagnosed with cancer. She was a pretty, popular girl, in her early twenties. A group of us immediately started meeting together to pray for Sandra’s healing. Then, one young man in our group announced that God “had given him a word” that Sandra was going to be healed. There was much excitement and rejoicing.

Except for me.

I felt like the odd one out.

I felt so uneasy and uncomfortable.

How could I speak up?

How could I say what I really thought?

They would think I had very little faith.

They might even think that I wasn’t a proper Christian.

Eventually I could keep quiet no longer.

I hesitantly addressed the young man in question and I nervously said, “Has God really told you that Sandra is going to be healed, or can you just not believe in a God who would let Sandra die?

Silence!

Sadly my question was answered on the 12th August 1985 when Sandra went to be with her Heavenly Father, four months after receiving her diagnosis.

Before Sandra died, I visited her in hospital. I went in the hope of being a blessing, but I was the one who was blessed. Sandra was weak and ill, but she just radiated peace and joy. The presence of God in her hospital room was almost tangible.

Why do some Christians become so fixated on healing as being the only possible option for their loved one? Is it due in part to their inability to believe in a God who would let their loved one die?

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For the believer, death is not the end, it’s a new beginning.

The Bible says that as believers, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

I don’t grieve as those who have no hope.

I do have hope, but it still hurts.

Every day it hurts, really, really badly.

I’m slowly learning to live with the pain of grief and loss.

I’m also learning daily, that He is sufficient for my every need.

Vicky Whyte

Vicky lives in Northern Ireland with her husband and two younger children. All she ever wanted in life was to get married, have kids, serve Jesus and love other people. Just quietly and without too much excitement. Her favorite spare time activities are catching up with friends or getting lost in a good book. Then, in 2013, family life changed forever. Leah, the second eldest of their four children, was diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation and went through a bone marrow transplant. Nine months after her initial diagnosis, Leah developed a rare side effect of her treatment and died shortly after her 16th birthday. Devastated and heartbroken by her daughter's death, Vicky has found that blogging helps her to trace the rainbows through the rain and see God's hand in everything.

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