"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." - John 9:3
Had another long and emotionally exhausting conversation today on the topic of "Healing." A new friend is determined to pray for God to heal me and she is sure healing will happen. I tried all my usual points (see entries from July 29-30) but she was convinced that God wants me "healed."
Before I go further, can I just say that I do not think being in a wheelchair is the worst thing that could happen to a person? Disabilities get such a bad rap from the general public...
This friend refered me to John 9:3, and told story after story of healings that she has witnessed. If God could restore an entirely cancer-rotted body, why shouldn't he make me walk? My question in return is, why should he make me walk? Why does he owe me anything at all? I have actually spent a lot of time with the verse in John 9, and this is the conclusion I have come up with:
Whatever God does, he does for his own glory. If he heals a person, it is for his glory. If he blesses a person with a disability (yes, I just said blesses), then it is for his glory. Some people need to receive a physical healing or witness a great obvious miracle in order to believe that God is good, powerful, and present. God knows each person's heart, and he grants those kinds of healings if it is what is needed to turn their hearts toward him and give him worship.
Thing is, I already know that God is good, powerful, and present in my life. And I have tried to share the stories of this evidence my whole life, to anyone who will listen. I believe it is a very powerful message when someone with a disability testifies to the faithfulness and love of God, because it means our faith isn't contingent on our own circumstances. I am so encouraged and challenged by the words of three brave men in Daniel 3: "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Even if he does not... In my own life, this message has a similar translation: I know the God I serve is able to make my muscles strong and loose and make me walk. But even if he does not, I will not turn against him - I will continue to worship and follow him.
Back to my original conclusion: Whatever God does, he does for his glory. My life is hidden in him, so my weakness no longer matters or has any power over me. I think he receives more glory out of my disability than he would in my ability. This is a timeless theme with God: from the beginning of the Bible until the end, he delights to choose the weak things of this world, so that his power may be evident and that his glory will shine.
Why would I demand that my sovereign God give me a few years of human strength when I can do what he asked me to - deny myself - and give him a lifetime (actually, an eternity) of glory and honor that he deserves?