Prayers go up. Hope runs high. Therapy is brutal. We pray, we hope, and we work so very hard. We are doing everything in our power to trust in God, have faith, keep a positive attitude so that we can get better. Years later, we are still paralyzed.
September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness month, and I am going to take this month to introduce you to the most amazing individuals. They have become my friends on this journey of wheels I started in 2009. They are the ones who didn’t get healed…or did they?
I think healing is a little bit of an elusive word. What does it really mean? I know paralyzed people who have been able to walk again, but have never regained control of their “bath-rooming.” There are those who can walk but still have no hand function. There are those who regain hand function and some levels of bathroom control, who never gain a muscle to walk. So, what is healing? Is healing only a “make me just exactly like I was before this happened?” I don’t think so.
There are many of us who have learned so much more about life since becoming paralyzed. We have learned not to take a single day for granted. We have learned to slow down and appreciate things. We have learned the true meaning of love and friendship by seeing who is still around. We are thankful for what paralysis has taught us and we would not like to “unlearn” those things. So, no, we would not like to go back exactly like we were before. For me, I see healing in many ways in my life.
There was a little girl who was born with a horrible birth defect. There was no hope for her condition. She was doomed to die. She desperately needed healing. One day, she learned of someone who offered her a healing. She simply had to listen to what he had to say, believe it, and trust him completely with her life. It all seemed too easy. No meds, no therapy, no lab rats. But it was a promised unconditional healing. She did not have a clue how to pay for this amazing cure. As she listened to the doctor, he told her that the cost had been paid. All she had to do was agree to receive the cure. She did agree. I was that little girl. Jesus saved my soul from eternal death and I will live forever. This body will die but not Alicia. That horrible birth defect was my sin nature and Jesus is the only cure for it…and He paid that ultimate price for my cure. I am so thankful to Him and I know that no matter what happens in this physical body, I have been cured for eternity. I am glad that I was healed.
But what about the day to day? What about our bodies and the healing we want? What about paralysis that continues for the rest of our earthly lives? Why don’t we get the healing and others do? Does God love some more than others? Does God pick on certain people? Does God sit in Heaven and play “eeny meeny miny moe?” How do I receive healing in the present….while still experiencing problems with my body? It is in a word called grace. You see, the greatest healed people I have ever met are the ones who have received the grace that they need to be happy and content in their current situation. You have met them, and so have I. I believe the great Apostle Paul was one of those people. God told Paul that He would not heal him, but He would give him grace to face his situation. Paul tells us later that he had learned that in whatever situation he was in to be content. How did Paul learn that? Grace. With grace in my life, I find healing each day to live happily in a paralyzed body.
But my ultimate healing is still coming. It is not just a healing for my body. It will be a healing for my attitudes, my opinions, my fleshly desires and actions….and yes, it will be for my physical body. There is coming a day, that we will no longer have pain or suffering or decaying bodies. It will be the moment that I enter Heaven to spend the rest of eternity. Do you know what I think? I think that when that day comes, I will no longer even worry about what I suffered in this life. I think that my first glimpse of Jesus will erase all such worries. I believe that it will all hit us with such a force of all that He has done for us and we will be filled with such gratitude and praise that we will fall down and worship Him. I think that for the first time, in a long time, I will finally be able to stand…but I won’t. I think I will fall on my face in worship. Walking won’t be on mind…worshipping Jesus will be.
In the month ahead, as I will be sharing with you many of my friends who are paralyzed, I would like you to realize 3 things:
- For those of us who belong to Jesus, we already know we have been healed of our most horrible condition: our lost souls.
- As you pray and beg God for our healing, remember that His grace is so abundant and our lives our wonderful because of that. There is much happiness to be found even if we never receive an earthly healing. We just trust God that He knows what He is doing, and that He fills our lives with His grace.
- In Heaven, everything will all make sense.
Let me clearly state, that we all still pray and desire a physical healing. As Christians, we know our God is able. But I just wanted to make it clear, that if for some reason, God does not choose to grant us this physical healing, He has still healed me of my greatest sickness of a lost soul, He grants me healing each day with the grace to endure with what He has allowed for now, and He will ultimately heal me of all my problems in eternity.
So, if you ask me the questions, “Why haven’t you been healed?” My answer is, “I was, I am, and I will be.”