Monday, November 07, 2005

Choosing Not to Heal

Laer, on Cheat Seeking Missiles, points to the death of a pastor in Waco during a church service.

He asks: " When something like this happens, it reminds us that we cannot understand the plans of God. Why a pastor, husband and father of two died in such a horrible circumstance. Why Esau ended up in Waco that day. Why."
We seem to think being a Christian will protect us from problems. When my brother died of cancer, he had thousands of people around the world praying for healing. God chose not to heal him. Here are some thoughts, and a poem about that topic.

True intimate relationship with God may send us to our version of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus wrestled with God over the need to go through the whole betrayal/suffering/crucifixion thing. Jesus keeps reminding his disciples, and us, that they killed the prophets. When you read Paul's description of what he went through, in 2nd Corinthians 11:23-33, we have little to complain about. It would be hard for anyone to claim they have come close to Paul's suffering.
In the Old Testament, we have the story of Job, and the story of Elijah in 1st Kings 17:7-24, where he runs out of food, and God sends him to the widow of Zarephath. No matter what our problems, I doubt many would willingly trade places with either Elijah or the widow.

What seems like unanswered prayer, either for healing, or for material help, may make some doubt. It is a hard question. In this poem I ask Jesus about those He chooses not to heal.

Choosing Not to Heal

How do You know
Who not to heal?
A much easier answer:
Just heal all.
No questions.
No pain.

So much harder
to say No.
How do we know
we can trust You?
If You heal only
part of the time.

How did You know in Galilee
when Your “father” died.
Not to heal.
Not heal one
who was obedient
raised you as his own.

Lord help us understand
why You don’t heal.
Why You allow
misery & pain.
Help us see You
when You say No.

© Presbypoet, August 29, 2001

I asked this question two weeks before 9-11. I had no idea what was coming. The question certainly was timely. It always is.


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