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The Miracle is in the Waiting

by ANNE MAY HEALING Expectations Health issues on the field
The Miracle is in the Waiting
”The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
Psalms 41:3

“So I was reading this verse in my morning quiet time…”  

I almost tune out when a friend says this…I feel simultaneously guilty and jealous of what I imagine is a blissful moment of fresh coffee and a radiant sunrise, the cool breeze gently ruffling the well-worn pages of her assiduously marked Bible. 

That was not my situation this morning. I was lying in bed, skimming a devotional on my phone app, half falling back asleep and half cringing in anticipation of which child would burst into the room first. 

And then I saw it, as if for the first time. “The Lord sustains them on their sickbed…” 

I have friends who don’t believe that God performs supernatural physical healing anymore. I have friends who believe that we can declare ourselves healed because that’s what God has promised. I have friends who have left the faith because their church blamed them when they weren’t healed, as if their faith wasn’t genuine.  

For the past six years my health has been up and down. I have had brief seasons of strength interspersed with long months of persistent-yet-vague symptoms. The kind that could be anything or nothing, that can sometimes be relieved but no one can quite figure out how to treat. I have sometimes been carried by the encouragement of prayer, and other times kept my struggle to myself because I’m tired of talking about it. I believe God is healing me, but the process is longer, less linear, and less predictable than I am often willing to accept.  

In that moment, reading that verse, I felt the weight of doubt lifting. God’s healing is no less real than it is a mystery. What is absolutely clear is His presence. He is with me in my sickness. He might or might not give me strength to do more for my kids or take back my former ministry responsibilities; He WILL give me strength to endure this season of weakness.  

But wait…doesn’t the second half of the verse say that God will restore our health? If you have a moment, check out all the different English translations of the verse here: Read a few commentaries on the verse here: There is a wide range of disagreement on whether it is saying that God will heal our sickness or comfort us in our sickness! I’m not a Hebrew scholar…maybe some of you could resolve the question…but I actually don’t want to. That’s the mystery we live with. As far as the gospels tell us, Jesus was never unable or unwilling to heal someone He encountered…yet He purposefully left town so that He could go elsewhere in order to preach the good news (see Mark 1:32-38). God can heal, and often He does, but it is not His highest priority. It is certainly not a condition by which we can assess His goodness. He is with us, and He sustains us, no matter what comes our way and as long as it remains.  

Instead of waiting for a miracle, I receive the miracle of His presence in the waiting.

Closing Prayer
Father, thank you for your precious promise to never leave us or forsake us. Thank you that your presence is with us to strengthen us in every circumstance, especially when our physical bodies are suffering. Thank you that in your compassion you do work miracles of healing, and we long for that, but we want to trust in your goodness whether we receive the miracle we want or have to endure hardship for a while longer. Help us to encourage our brothers and sisters in their struggles so that together we can remain faithful to you. Amen.
Article: Why Doesn’t God Heal People We Love? By Joni Ericson Tada I highly recommend any book by Joni Ericson Tada, an author and speaker who was paralyzed in a diving accident when she was a teenager. For a taste of her story, here’s a recent blog post she wrote about God’s healing.
Question for Reflection

Have you struggled with long-term health issues, or walked a journey with someone who has? How have you been encouraged to trust God’s goodness in that difficult situation?

Anne May
May 16, 2024

One of my young co-workers is currently struggling with serious heart and lung damage after recovering from Covid-19. I am so sad watching her suffer, but I am so grateful that God brought her into our ministry so that we can be part of His provision of grace to her in this hard time.