Article Content

In my thirties I experienced a healing that radically changed my life. This healing, which was nothing short of miraculous, fundamentally changed my relationship with God.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

After several years of marriage, my husband and I decided to start a family. A year passed, and we realized conceiving children wasn't going to be easy. Five years, thousands of dollars, and numerous painful medical and surgical interventions later, we made the excruciating decision to give up the dream of pregnancy. It is hard to describe what it was like to endure endless monthly cycles of hope, elation and devastation.


We asked God to heal me many times. I confessed my sins (Jas 5:16), prayed to be "fruitful and multiply" (Lev 26), and studied Scripture (Hannah's story in 1 Samuel 1 became a favorite). Friends, family and church leaders prayed for me (Jas 5:14-15). I followed advice about what to think, speak or pray to receive healing, along with tips on how to get pregnant. More than once I was asked if I had sin in my life or if I lacked faith. The insinuation that this was my fault only intensified my sorrow.


Over time I began to believe I had a right to be healed. Unwed girls who didn't deserve or couldn't afford a baby got pregnant all the time. Why not me? I couldn't understand why I suffered. One especially difficult afternoon I decided to throw in the towel with God. I told God if he couldn't give me a baby, he either wasn't powerful or he was just plain mean.


Before dumping God I thought I should read the Bible one more time. I angrily turned to the Gospel of John. As I read, I was irritated by the miracles Jesus did for these people but not for me. In John 6, I was intrigued by the crowd of thousands who followed Jesus because of the free lunch they'd received. Jesus challenged the people not to "work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you" (Jn 6:27).The crowd became increasingly agitated as Jesus explained he was that Bread of Life.


At the culmination of this encounter, John 6:66 says, "Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him." I chided the crowd for deserting Jesus after all he had done for them, and I imagined Jesus' sadness at losing these followers. Then I read, "So Jesus asked the twelve, 'Do you also wish to go away?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God'" (Jn 6:67-69).


A lightning bolt shot through my mind. Like the crowd, I wanted a bread-maker, vending-machine God. I thought happiness would come if God gave me what I wanted. I began to understand that Jesus had already given me everything I would ever need. When he took the punishment on the cross for my wrongdoing, he gave me spiritual food that endures forever. Weeping, I concurred with Peter, "Jesus, I know who you are!!"


Though I never conceived a child, I was healed that day. I discovered a profound truth: Jesus loves me. He let me suffer so I would search for him. Through suffering, I grasped what Jesus suffered for me by dying on the cross. He gave me total commitment and asked me to do the same-to take up my cross and follow him, to lay down my life so he could give me a better life (Mt 16:24-27).


Jesus didn't heal everyone when he lived on the earth. God continues to supernaturally heal some but not others (see Shelly, pp. 6-14, Diggins, pp. 34-36). He also heals through the natural healing processes he gave our bodies and through health care. In his sovereignty, God chooses to heal or not to heal to accomplish his purposes.


But even though physical healing may not occur, God offers spiritual healing to all (Jn 3:16-17).This healing is impossible for us to achieve on our own. He freely gives this healing to all who admit they are sinners, believe Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive their sin, and pray and invite Jesus into their lives (Jn 1:12).


That is real healing.-KSS