I’ve been asked many times how I can believe that God heals. You see I watched my mum, a devout pastor, passionate about building His church and sharing the gospel through any means, die at 37 years old from cancer.
From the day we found out what it was, to the day that she died, it was 12 weeks. Many prayed, in fact I remember as a little girl seeing many come into our house to pray for her.
I remember the church praying, I remember praying myself. I remember hearing the soft rumblings of my dad in prayer continuously. But she died.
I remember hearing of my older sister who had already passed away, and how mum and dad had prayed over her body, believing that although God hadn’t healed her, He would in fact raise her from the dead—after all she had died on Good Friday, at just 18 months old. Was it not a sign that He could use this scenario to show his healing power and love and bring her back to life on Easter Sunday? Just as His son had done?
It never happened.
I remember as a young girl praying for the healing of my younger sister—who was born severely brain damaged. We shared a room and I would look over at her bed and pray for her healing as I went to sleep each night.
She is now 34 years old and it still hasn’t happened. In fact, these scenarios of unanswered prayer, coupled with sexual abuse I endured as a child, and my anger at God for the scenarios that continued to unfold in my life, is what kept me out of church and away from God for many years.
The Prayers That Were Answered
Fast forward to when I was 23 years old, having newly recommitted my life to God, and finding myself in the whirlwind of a perfect storm. I wanted change, I prayed for changed, and I got change. I prayed for a new job, I prayed for a new flat mate, I prayed for wisdom, I prayed desperately every day. I saw God answer my prayers and saw him completely transform my life. But what about the healing part? What proof did I have that God still healed?
I had chronic asthma at the time. It had gotten worse as I entered my early 20’s. The lifestyle I had lived really didn’t help.
But although asthma may sound like ‘not a big deal’ kind of sickness, it was at times quite scary for me. I would find myself short of breath even after walking to the end of the street. If I ran, I would be gasping and dizzy, and my breathing was so restricted I felt like I was going to pass out.
Not being able to breathe is not a great feeling. When it got really bad, I would wonder if I was actually having a panic attack from the stress of not being able to breathe, or if I just really couldn’t breathe. Both are similar.
I remember praying to God and asking him, almost sheepishly, to heal my asthma.
Did I have faith for it? Not really, but I didn’t really know how to have faith for it. Was I going to give it a chance and let the words I wanted to believe so badly come out of my mouth, even if I felt like I was kicking them out and letting them fall—not sending them like the prayer warrior I wanted to be? Yes.
So I prayed. And prayed and prayed.
And one day, I woke up with no asthma. It took me until the afternoon to realise. But I had no asthma!! I ran to the end of the street, no asthma. I could breathe. I knew God had healed me.
Since then, I have prayed for healing for many things. Not every prayer has been answered, but many have. Side note: I also have completed a half marathon and a ‘Tough Mudder’, just to celebrate being asthma free!!!
Remembering Answered Prayers will Build Your Faith
I have found the best way to believe that God can heal, is to remember the last time he did. As for my mum and both of my sisters? God has taught me that to truly get peace that surpasses all understanding, I had to give up my right to try and understand (Philippians 4:7). I had to choose to trust.
I don’t have all the answers, but I know the one who does. And I trust HIM. I trust that HE IS GOOD, I trust that He is alive and hears me and knows all. I trust that He loves me.
A few years ago, God also gave me a vision of my younger sister. She was healed and standing in front me (she currently can’t stand, walk or talk). And God spoke to me so clearly and said “Do you see it?” and I said “Yes, I see it”, and He said, “That’s what I see, so keep believing”. I don’t understand it all, but I decided that day I was going to pray for her healing for as long as it takes.
Isaiah 55:8-9, New International Version (NIV), says…
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
He knows all the details, and he also has a plan, but his thoughts are “higher than our thoughts”, things that we could never understand.
His ways are higher than our ways. My mind could never understand how He works. And I’m actually not meant to. I am meant to have faith and choose to trust. On a smaller scale, I see this outplay with my children. My seven-year-old son really wanted something the other day, but if I had given it to him, it would have affected his baby sister, who was unwell and sleeping.
It was too complicated a scenario for him to understand the ramifications if I woke her up and got it for him. I tried to explain, but he didn’t understand. So in the end I just had to say a straight, “No, you have to wait.”
I think sometimes God thinks that way with us. He knows all the details, and he also has a plan, but his thoughts are “higher than our thoughts”, things that we could never understand. We have to choose to trust, just as my son had to choose to trust me. Even though he didn’t understand.
What is it that you can choose to pray again for today? Yes, pray AGAIN.
Something you have prayed for before and have given up on, because you didn’t see the answer come immediately. I encourage you. Pray again. God hears, He knows all the details and cares about them. And I promise you, He is still the God that heals today.