Friday, August 20, 2010

A Blessing Lost

The Bible tells us a story of a desperate father who brings his  little boy to Jesus for healing. The boy is being tormented by a demon causing involuntary convulsions in him bringing him great harm and many times nearly killing him. Jesus is on a mountaintop with Peter, James and John so the remaining disciples at the foot of the mountain try to heal the boy but find they are unable. Upon his return, Jesus reminds them that all things are possible for those who have faith and then heals the boy. When the disciples ask Jesus why they failed, he explained that the power the disciples lacked could come only from God, and therefore was available only through faith and prayer. (Mark 9:14-29)

I always assumed that the little boy grew up to be a strong, healthy man who married the girl of his dreams and had a houseful of children. But recently, I found myself questioning that assumption. What if that boy’s symptoms returned two months later? What if, once the convulsions returned, he were plagued with this condition for the rest of his life? Those who want to find fault with Jesus might say that the boy had never really been healed. False prophets might blame the boy’s own sinfulness for his troubles. Really, what do you tell someone whose “answered prayer” suddenly becomes unanswered? What do I tell the woman who just had another miscarriage? How do I encourage the man who moved his family across country on the promise of a job only to arrive and to have the job offer fall through? What do I tell them when their “happily ever after” all of a sudden isn’t anymore? And what if I’m the one facing the disappointment of a blessing lost? What do I tell myself?

I don’t have the answer to any of these questions. All I do know is that Jesus loves me with a perfect, eternal love. Whatever life brings me in the next moment, the next day or week, I know he loves me. He has not, nor will he ever abandon me. With faith and prayer I will make it through the challenges that come my way because he is with me. He will guide me, carry me, and push me through the obstacles in my life to bring me closer to him. There will be disappointment and hardship in this lifetime, but still I am hopeful because he has promised that someday I will know only his joy and peace. I can hold unswervingly to this hope I profess because he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23) – of that I have no doubt. I may never be able to explain to you or myself why bad things happen to good people or why God doesn’t heal the pain and sickness of all of those we lift up to him in prayer. When disappointment or hardship knocks me down, all I can do is remember to bring my fear, my confusion and my pain to him. I can lean on him, cry on his shoulder and know that he is there for me and with me through it all.
About the pictures:
Phipps Conservatory (May 09)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes healing is a process, not a miracle that clears everthing forever... Just remember that the longer it goes bewteen attacks, the closer the final healing...