What do we do when the much longed-for healing doesn’t come? When hope is dashed again and again?
When God, whom we know has both the power and ability, to do something, doesn’t?
What do we do with this disappointment? Why does he seem so silent, hidden, unfair, unloving, uncaring?
Are things really as they seem?
“Who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge,” Job was asked? Who, indeed? God, apparently fed up with Job’s questioning, answered him in a very Socratic way:
With questions of his own.
It seems there were things Job, and by extension, us, simply couldn’t understand. Meaning that if God, and his purposes, could be understood, he wouldn’t be God.
From his perspective, things were well in hand; from Job’s, unremitting loss and suffering. And instead of cluing Job in, the book seems more of an object lesson for Satan:
Do your worst, I know Job’s heart. He loves me…
Blows me away everytime I think about it. Admittedly, we don’t have the (if one can term it that) the luxury of God appearing in a whirlwind; rather Jesus tells us “Blessed is he who has not seen, and yet has believed.” Put another way, we walk by faith, and not by sight.
We are put into the position of having to trust that Father does indeed, despite all appearances to the contrary, know best.
So what do we do when the healing doesn’t come? We join that great cloud of witnesses which surrounds us. It’s some rather august company:
Paul asked thrice for his thorn to be taken; it was not. Instead, he was told that “My grace is sufficient for you…” The entire roster of the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews eleven consists entirely of people who didn’t get what they were promised, only glimpsing it from a long ways off.
A certain petitioner asked that a cup be taken from him; it was not.
We know how that turned out.
So what do we do when the looked-for healing doesn’t come?
As trite as it is to say: we trust, and obey. Otherwise anger, bitterness, frustration, and hopelessness stand outside the door threatening to destroy us.
We walk by faith and not by sight, right? I know: easy to say. But how do we do this–walk by faith–when our bodies, and our minds, betray us? I wish I knew. The world, the flesh, the devil, illness make a fairly comprehensive case against God’s fundamental goodness. Why does he seem so absent when things fall apart?
Why does everything have to be a test of faith?
“Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” It’s hard, but I have nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to.
And I’m sorry, folks: I don’t have any answers. I’ve only got an Answer. I wish it were more satisfying. Like God, who doesn’t want to be analyzed, but rather just loved for who he is, I don’t want to be constantly tested, tried, found wanting.
Like him, I just want to be loved. Right where I’m at.
How about you?