Difficult Faith Questions

By: Jane

Apr 05 2011

Category: God


“Thomas, one of the 12, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples were saying to him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe.’
And after 8 days again His disciples were inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here your finger and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; Be not unbelieving, but believing.’
Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who do not see, and yet believe.’

A few months ago a friend of mine asked me to pray for someone she knew who was in the final stages of a terminal illness. I said that I would, and I did, but honestly, I don’t know how to pray those kinds of prayers.
It’s difficult for me to ask for healing, because I have rarely, if ever, seen God heal anyone who had no other hope but Him. It’s not that don’t think He can do it. I have just come to question whether He will. I have not seen, and therefore I have difficulty believing. Lord, help me in my unbelief. There are many things that I attribute to God’s providence, and/or to answered prayer. But sometimes I find myself in doubt, wondering…”If I never see Him answering a huge prayer in a miraculous way, how can I know that all of the ‘little’ prayers are really being answered? What if it’s just me creating answers to prayers in my own mind?’
So, when I was asked to pray for this terminally ill woman, I took the question directly to Him: “How am I supposed to pray here? Why do we never see the kinds of healings that You did 2000 years ago? Don’t You do that anymore?” I still don’t have the answer to that specific question. But there did pop into my head one of those thoughts that I don’t think was my own.
We all die. Some sooner, some later, but aside from Jesus Christ, no one has ever gotten out of here physically alive. Sometimes these losses are sudden and tragic. Other times there is a prolonged goodbye.
Having experienced loss in both ways, I personally prefer the latter. So it occurred to me that sometimes our prayers for healing are answered, “Your loved one’s time on earth is just about up. I am not going to heal, but I will give you time to process, to make the adjustment, to prepare.” I think that it’s possible that a prolonged goodbye is actually a blessing…an opportunity to say goodbye.
I have also heard that healing is more common in places where people haven’t learned to depend upon modern medicine, and therefore are more purely dependent upon God for their healing. I have no idea whether that’s true or not. Brett, if you happen to be reading this, can you tell me if that’s true? Does anyone have any comment on this difficult, (for me) question? It’s not a faith shattering question for me, but it is, nonetheless, a big question.
Let me also say, that although I’ve never actually seen an out and out healing, I have had one answer to a request for more time. When my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer the surgeon opened her up and closed her up, saying that she was too far gone…there was nothing more to do than to take her home and wait. That was in August. He told us we might have her until Thanksgiving. She, however, asked the Lord for 5 more years. And that’s exactly what she got.


5 comments on “Difficult Faith Questions”

  1. I know this may sound goofy but I’ve been thinking that Jesus was willing to heal the body on occasion but it was not the most critical part of the transaction. Jesus understood that we, 3D folks are still much focused on healing the body, but I think He saw through that somehow and really spoke to that which was withing – once that was healed, the body followed.

    Now, we can’t know that, so I always pray for the whole person, within and without.

    I also liked what you said about timing. It’s another piece that’s out of our ability to understand. The other thing to remember is that God lives “outside” of time, so I’m sure that view of when and how is different.

    It’s not much to add. It is a difficult subject. Sometimes I think praying for healing is as difficult as Abraham carrying Isaac to the mountain to be sacrificed. Is the prayer for ourselves because of our love for that person or is it for the greater picture we cannot see. I don’t know.

    Thanks for writing. ib

  2. It doesn’t sound goofy at all, Irm. When you think of all of the people that Jesus came across in His earthly life, really what we’ve read about is onlly a tiny percentage of them. I guess it stands out to us because it’s so unusual. Really, judging by the reactions to it, it was unusual in that time as well. And you’re right…the body is not the most critically in need of healing. It’s the spirit and the heart that He’s looking to interact with.
    It’s just difficult for me because I don’t feel like I CAN pray with faith. I read somewhere about the prayer that never fails, though: Thy will be done.

  3. that’s a great point that God may extend so we have time with them. That’s an interesting theory about modern medicine – though it doesn’t seem right that God would “punish” us (maybe better said penalize) for trying medicine. Who can blame someone for trying?

  4. I don’t know that He’s punishing or penalizing us. It just may be a natural consequence that the less we depend upon God, the more we do for ourselves instead of allowing Him to do it, the less He steps in.

  5. And, like I said, I don’t know if it’s actually true that countries with less access to modern medicine have a higher rate of healings by God…it’s just something I’ve heard, but never verified.

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