At one point, I got down on my knees and began crying, asking God to take away the sickness. I just couldn’t take it anymore. In that moment a question came to my mind, “why are you praying for healing?” Aside from the obvious reason, I didn’t know! I guess none of us like to feel discomfort, especially extreme discomfort that comes with the stomach flu, so why wouldn’t we pray to be healed quickly? But that question sat with me for a bit and I was reminded of Laura Story’s song, Blessings. I posted it here regarding my miscarriage. I was struck by that song that my life isn’t about eliminating all pain and seeking my pleasure. My life is about Jesus and bringing him glory. Sometimes He is glorified through our pain and suffering. Not a comfortable topic to approach in a world that strives for comfort, pleasure and happiness at all cost.
As I was down on my knees, God brought to mind my desperate plea for healing over my anxiety disorder. In the past several months I’ve prayed that God would restore me to my “old life” where I felt freedom and wasn’t afraid of anything. I just want to be healed and I want my life back! But in the midst of the stomach flu, down on the floor, I felt like God told me to stop praying for healing over my anxiety. It would be through this very thing that God would be glorified in me. It would be through my struggle with anxiety that God would refine me, grow me, prune me, and bring me to a place of intimacy with Him that I’ve never experienced before. Don’t pray for quick healing – you’ll miss out on the amazing work of My hand in your life, and even more, you’ll miss out on the blessings that are waiting on the other side of this if you don’t go through it.
It’s no coincidence that I’ve been doing a study of the book of John this year. If you’ve never read the book of John in it’s entirety, please sit down and do so – it will transform your life! We’ve recently studied two instances where Jesus healed people. In chapter 9 Jesus came to a blind man and the disciples began asking was it his sin or his parent’s sin that made the man blind. Jesus replied “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” When I read this I had immediate peace that God was going to do a great work in me through my anxiety and it would be for His glory. Of course Jesus heals this man and the one once born blind now can see.
In John 11 Jesus does the most miraculous thing, he raises Lazarus from the dead.
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the
and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” village of Mary
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
What is amazing is that once Jesus hears of Lazarus being sick, he waits 2 more days before he starts to travel to him. Once Jesus arrives, Lazarus has been dead for about 4 days! Jesus could have simply spoken healing, like he did to the official about his sick son in chapter 4, and he could have been healed without Jesus even going to him. But there was a reason why Jesus did not heal Lazarus immediately. “It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
I know that God has the power to completely heal me from my anxiety disorder forever, and trust me, I’d love that! But for now, I’m letting go of my desperate plea for healing and welcoming this anxiety as the very tool of God to make me who He wants me to be for His glory.