I recently had an experience with God where I was in the middle of worship and I felt Him come down and sweep me up in his arms. As I’m standing there in the physical with my eyes shut, hearing the sweet voices around me praise Jesus, Papa God was sitting my spirit in his lap and I could tell he was about to say something I needed to hear.
It was not a good night as far as how I felt. My stomach hurt and I didn’t want to be at church, but it’s always so good that i figured it was worth the sacrifice to gain some holy goodness from worship and teaching. I had also forgot to wash my socks over the weekend, so I was wearing my gray dress pants with brown, ankle-high socks. So add to the experience of not feeling well being slightly embarrassed of my fashion feau-pau (sp?).
As I sat there in Papa’s lap, not feeling well, He leaned in close to my face, stared lovingly into my eyes and said, “I’m not going to heal you. I love you more than anything, but I’m not going to rescue you from this illness.” My analytical mind raced to process the implications of such a statement. My mind raced, “Does this match my theology?? Does it even make sense??? What about the words that I’ve received about being healed??
Then I forced my mind to shut off and simply listen. My theology isn’t important when He speaks.
But I wasn’t fearful. I wasn’t angry. My heart knew that He needed to say that because He’s the only one I could hear it from and believe. As those words begin to sit in my soul and penetrate the barriers of analytical thought, teachings and experiences with others, it started making sense.
What is one of my hang ups with spending time with God? Why don’t I trust Him to do what He says? Why do I have trouble obeying, stepping out on faith, and forgiving my own father? Because I have set the expectation that He must heal me from Crohn’s disease in order for me to fulfill the destiny that HE has put in my heart!! Does God heal? Absolutely. Am I sick and in need of a miracle? Yes. Is it possible for God to redeem the years of pain and agony and sorrow that I’ve gone through with a divine touch to my body? Most definitely. So why would He say that He’s not going to heal me?
My spirit knew at that moment that He was calling me out. If I was going to wait for a miracle, I would never step out until He did what I expected Him to do. The healing would lead to greater expectation and further disappointment. If I take the miracle off the table, I’m now free to do what I know He has put in me without feeling betrayed and utterly alone. I can know that He is with me, that He loves me totally and completely, that He’ll show up when I ask Him to, but that I cannot control His timing, His will and His sovereign grace.
It’s a redefining of grace. What I thought looked like a miracle, He thinks looks like me discovering the greatness He has put inside me through the Holy Spirit. His grace looks like me putting that one thing that I deserve, that miracle of healing, because ‘it’s His nature’, and stepping out into the unknown with a faith that is once again complete.
What if when God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you”, God was saying, “It is because I AM Grace that I allow you to suffer. You need to put aside your expectations and do what I’ve put in your heart to do”? That verse is very controversial, and I don’t claim to have it figured out, but I leave open the possibility of this interpretation. Like a butterfly who needs to wrestle its way out of the cocoon in order to build up the strength to fly, perhaps I need to fight my way into the destiny that God has set before me to build up the character, perseverance and wisdom to stand firmly in the place He has prepared for me.
WOW!!! My father isn’t going to rescue me because He finally sees in me the ability to come out of it myself!!! How amazing is that! What a privilege to be able to use my imagination, discover new ways of depending on Him, and learn what the Father’s heart is really like.
Suddenly, I thought of all the things that I’ve put off because I’ve been waiting for God to heal me. Ministry, counseling, businesses, marriage… and tons more that I can’t think of. Maybe it’s okay for life to be difficult. Maybe I don’t need things to line up the way I expect them to in order for me to walk out my destiny. Maybe, just maybe, God doesn’t have to heal me for me to believe that He loves me.
Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. The pain I undergo isn’t something You want, but I believe that You see purpose in my ability to step into a greater level of ministry without being rescued. I ask you for the wisdom, the patience, the confidence and the discipline to obey to the glory of your name. Amen.