“Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my body is in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until You restore me? Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of Your unfailing love.” (Ps 6:2-4a NLT)
Have you ever cried out to God like David did? A relentless condition that displays itself spiritually may besiege us and sometimes be healed more quickly than one that is physical in nature. We realize that, in time, God always heals our spirits, if we allow Him.
However, we all wonder why God physically heals some people and, seemingly, not others. This question of life does not automatically receive an adequate answer for God does not always pull back heaven’s curtain to permit us a peek backstage into the scripted plot of His plan of action.
Recently, I read a passage of scripture that had previously escaped my notice and, in a strange way, has helped me in wrestling with this question. Concealed in a story in John 5, it relates the healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.
Arriving for one of the Jewish feasts, Jesus entered Jerusalem, possibly through the Sheep Gate, for it was from here that He strolled to the pool of Bethesda. I imagine this is what He saw…
A gathering of people, amassed around the fringe of Bethesda’s pool. The blind stood with the deaf. The withered sat with the weak and feeble. The diseased leaned against the porch pillars. The crippled laid on mats.
All anticipated the disturbance of the waters of healing, waiting to be the first to jump in like a flock of seagulls, hovering over a fishing dock, ready to swoop down for the catch of the day.
Jesus saw only one person. His eyes locked onto a man paralyzed for 38 years and lying on a mat. As He approached the man, He leaned over and asked him, “Would you like to be well?”
The man looked up into the most extraordinary eyes he had ever seen. “Sir,” he said, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water stirs, so someone always jumps in ahead of me.”
With a voice of power that could easily stir the waters on its own, Jesus said, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and start walking!” As the man jumped up, the prickly sensation of healing surged through his limbs.
Nothing is said of any other healings that day. I wonder why not. Did those there just stare at Jesus in bewilderment? Did they focus only on the water, awaiting their turn? Did they desire not to be healed? Were they afraid?
Maybe God desired no further healings because they would have endangered Jesus’ life even more, for the Jews sought to kill Him for healing just this one man on the Sabbath. What might they have done if He had healed everyone? For whatever reason, it was God’s purpose not to heal any others at that moment.
In my relentless physical condition, I no longer feel adrift on a sea of doubt, wondering why I am not healed. Whether I am or not, I remain part of God’s purpose and praise Him for it.
He has whispered to my spirit that He will heal me and I trust Him to keep His promise. I hold His hand as a child holds its father’s hand in trust to cross a dangerous intersection. I know that healing is still in my future, whether it comes while I am here on earth or in heaven.
For various reasons, some are healed and some are not. God knows them all.