One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to go roller skating around the neighbourhood. My skates were two metal frames with four metal wheels that would buckle onto the soul of my running shoes. They did not have a rubber stop so when it came time to stop, I would throw myself down on the grass or against a tree. Needless to say, I spent most of my summers with bandaged knees! Eventually the wounds would scab over and before I knew it my knees were back to normal. I took for granted that healing would always come.
A couple of months ago, I had a somewhat simple procedure performed on one of my knees. The surgeon had said that within six to eight weeks I would be back to normal. Well, six weeks has come and gone and still my knee isn’t functioning like it should. A few unexpected complications have delayed the healing. In my frustration, I called out to God, demanding strength, patience and a pain free day.
In the Gospel of Mark, there is a story of Jesus healing Samuel’s ill Mother-in-law followed by Jesus healing all kinds of people (Mark 1:29-34). The story seems to imply that so long as you reach out to Jesus in faith, your healing will come. The opposite truth being, if you do not receive healing, it must be a sign of some weakness in your faith.
But we know that eventually healing didn’t come to Samuel’s Mother-in-law. The same is true of all those Jesus healed; a day arrived when each and every one of them died. Eventually, healing does not come.
What do we do when the healing doesn’t come? We all know those moments when our pain seems to increase and resilience seems impossible. What do we do when all seems to fail?
We do exactly what Jesus did.
In the same passage in the Gospel of Mark, after healing hundreds of people, Jesus went off alone to pray (Mark 1:35). He knew that when we feel depleted, there is one who is always ready to listen, to offer peace and to make whole that which seems broken. We are reminded to “Draw near to God and God will draw near to you.” (James 4:8 NKJV)
May we always believe in God’s eternal plan, trusting in the one who sees beyond any of our limited horizons.