|"The Raising of Jarius' Daughter"|
Edwin Long, 1889
"Peter said to the beggar, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" And Peter took the beggar by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong... And Peter said, "His name—by faith in His name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all." (Acts 3:6-7, 16)
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Oh, that this would happen to us! That a man could lay his hands on us in the name of Jesus and our afflictions would heal. Yeah. Right. Have you ever felt like screaming, "I go to church! I pray! I worship! I fear! I love! I BELIEVE! Why don’t You heal me?! Why don’t You heal my husband?! My child?!" I've screamed it. Literally.
What, am I not loud enough? Don't I have the words right? I can scream it all I want. God doesn't owe me anything. It wasn't this beggar’s desire that won him healing; it wasn't that he prayed harder than you or I do, or that he needed to be healed more than you or I do, or that he had more faith in God than you or I do. This man did nothing to heal himself. Peter says, "His name—by faith in His name—has made this man strong." Jesus’ name.
We beg God to let our hurtful cups pass from us just like Jesus did in Gethsemane. He invites us to. However, Jesus was left on a cross to suffer, and occasionally, so are we. Jesus died despite His prayer, and so do we. You see, in that same garden, our LORD also prayed that God’s will be done. Yikes. That's a tougher one, because I've been feeling God's will for about five years now, and frankly, I don't much care for it.
Or do I? … I thank God that His will was to sacrifice His Son for my sake, or these momentary afflictions of mine—lifelong though they are—would never end, not even in death. Maybe God knows a little more about what's good and necessary than I do. I keep confusing those ideas with comfortable and pleasant.
Okay, but why heal the beggar and not me? I don't know. I guess there's more good coming from that beggar's healing than if he'd stayed lame. I guess there's more good coming from my staying lame. I don't know what that good is exactly, but I do know the bad is only temporary. I will walk—all of us will walk—with that beggar because God's will was done despite being asked to do otherwise.
So, I keep praying. And yes, I keep begging to be healed. I keep believing that I will be healed one day, albeit likely not until death. I keep trusting that if I'm not healed until my last breath is spent in the world, a meaning greater than myself, greater than my hurting and greater than my need to be well, is at work.
Suggested verse to repeat to yourself if it's a difficult day Psalm 46:1
Pain Rehab buddies, remember to breathe!
“God is my refuge and strength; ----------> 5 counts inhale
a very present help in trouble.” ----------> 5 counts exhale