Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God” (Isaiah 50:10b)
When a physical ailment first occurs it is natural to flip our Bible open and turn to the scriptures on healing. They provide hope and assurance that we can rely on God’s healing touch.
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 24, the words that described my condition grew: chronic, inflammatory, degenerative, progressive. This week the doctor used the term: “late-stage rheumatoid arthritis.” After twenty-three years of fighting this disease the deterioration has progressed to multiple disabilities that will never heal. Bone has disintegrated, joints have fused.
Through the years, I was tempted to write N/A in my Bible margins beside those healing scriptures–not applicable.
Now, as I read scriptures on healing, I try to not avoid them, but redefine what healing means. During my time on earth, God will heal me in the ways I most need healing. The years have shown that has little to do with my body and everything to do with my spirit. Like a debridement, He is healing many of us from the inside, rather than using a bandage on the outside.
Lack of a physical healing should not lessen our faith. Pastor Chuck Colson once said, “True faith trusts even when every outward reality tells us there is no reason to.” And theologian Michael Novak explains that true faith says, “Let this be done, Lord, according to Your will”—even if we don’t know what “this” is.
As we walk through the seasons of chronic illness, we will wonder why God withholds His healing touch, even after decades of our faithfulness.
Cling to knowing God, not understanding His ways. Ask for God’s strength to read the scriptures on healing without them leaving a bitter taste on your tongue. He has great blessings for you and I that we would not experience with a body that was without pain.
Prayer: God, You know my heart’s desire to wake up just one day and not feel overwhelmed by what the day will require of my body. I don’t understand Your ways, but I choose to have faith despite my lack of understanding. I choose to believe that You love me, regardless of how I interpret Your actions or even Your silence. Give me endurance to bear what You ask of me, and hope to know that heaven will be even sweeter because of the bitter I tasted here on earth. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen began Rest Ministries in 1996 and continues to pour her heart into it. She is currently battling her disease, homeschooling her son, and working together with her husband with their home-based jewelry business Gutsy Goodness as he has gone back to school at the age of 50. She continues to take one day at a time and wait on the Lord.
When you read scriptures about healing how do they make you feel? Do you ever wonder why they don’t seem to apply to your circumstances? Have you ever confessed the bitter taste of the healing scriptures to God?
This is Byron Cage singing “Broken But I’m Healed.” Even if you have not been healed physically, take time to rejoice that God is working on you in many other ways. Even if your body is just as broken–you still will not be the same after God is done with you. Hoping this blesses you. -Lisa