Sometimes, no matter how hard we pray, we don't get the answer we are praying for in our lives. We pray and pray, but to no avail. There are times we pray and ask God for healing in our bodies. We ask God to heal us completely from the top of our heads to the soles of our feet. We want no more aches and pains here on earth, just to feel good all the time, to be able to walk, to move, to sit for longer periods of time to get more done, to be able to get out of bed and not have to hold on to everything as we walk our way through the house, just to be able to get from point A to point B.
Sometimes God does it, He will answer yes to your prayers, a big loud, resounding YES! Sometimes God just flat out tells us no, not always does He give us everything we ask for, because whatever it is, may not be in His complete will for us for whatever reason. Many times, whether the answer is yes or no, He doesn't give a reason why, He chose to answer, and it seems that telling us to wait on Him, is the hardest thing for us to hear and the waiting is the longest period of our lives.
Sometimes the Lord will come to ones, in the stillness of the moment, He wants them to know and shares with them that there is a purpose for the pain, and a reason for the trial. He also says there is a special grace that He has given to His Children to be able to manage and cope in that time of life that He has asked them to live through that burden, trial or pain. Paul asked God several times to remove the affliction from him, and God would just tell him, "My Grace is sufficient for thee." I am sure that isn't what Paul had in mind, but He was willing to keep the affliction if it was meant for gain in the kingdom of heaven.
I remember being in the middle of a healing service in a revival meeting at our Church. The pastor had everything set, a special speaker to come in and talk about healing, talk about the reasons why God answers prayers to some as a resounding, "YES" and then to others, He chooses to say, "NO." Then he told us that sometimes God doesn't answer Yes or No when asked to heal someone right away, sometimes God will say, "just a little while longer, but not yet."
In all the nights he had been speaking, why did he say that tonight? The last night of the revival, he chose to say those words. I couldn't figure it why, he hadn't said that in any other message the entire week. It was the night I finally decided to go forward for anointing and prayer for healing. I thought, it is weird that you would say something like that the last night of the revival.
Then just as I was getting up to step out in the aisle, I heard it... The same still, small voice I heard the day God called me to preach... Just as audible as my husband and I having a conversation, I heard it. "Not now, Janet. You have work to do, and I have a greater purpose for your pain. I need you to wait, I need you to be patient for your healing, I need you to trust in me. I need you to know and understand that I have a greater plan and purpose for all that you are going through. My Child, I love you and hate to see you hurting and suffering, but I promise you, when your healing comes, you are going to be able to see all that was accomplished through your struggles."
Not really what you want to hear from your own God. The one who is supposed to be answering every prayer we ask in Jesus' name. He knew that if I had asked Him for healing at that moment, in the name of Jesus, He would have had to grant it, but God had a greater purpose for me beyond all I could see for myself. So He stopped me dead in my tracks, before I could leave my seat.
I was shocked, I was heart broken, and I couldn't believe He would ask so much of me, knowing the outcome of my distress and knowing the longer I wait, the worse it was going to be. How could He call me to preach, to sing the gospel of Christ, and how could He ask someone He has walked with for this whole time, to sit down by the sidelines and take one for the team...?
I wondered that for quite a while. I sat there, tear filled eyes, thinking about what this meant to me, how much my healing meant to me, to my body, I remember thinking, "Do you know how bad I want to be able to hold my children, let them sit on my lap and to cuddle with them when they want me to? Do you know how bad I want to be able to stand and preach the gospel, to sing your praises and songs to you without wearing out, collapsing after the services? Do you really know what you are asking me to give up for you, right now? God,are you sure it is me that you are talking to? What good would come from this obedience, that wouldn't come from me being healed." Then He said to me, "I know this is hard for you to understand, and I know how badly you want to hold your children while they are still young, but please know the blessings you are going to receive from your obedience and patience in this time of pain, hurt, and trial is going to be beyond all you could ever imagine."
As the time passed through the altercall. I sat there, sobbing, watching others, one right after another having hands laid on them, watched them be anointed, watched some of them walk away rather than limping, and others standing in the gap for someone else. I couldn't imagine what was happening, why I was being asked to do this great thing for God. "Why me, who am I?" Then my heart stirred within me, all the hopes and thoughts I had inside of me, all the plans and dreams, and every "I'm sorry, I can't hold you right now, because mommy hurts," was flowing through my mind. I knew I loved God and that I trusted Him for everything in my life, but this was a part of my life, I never thought would ever have to be totally put into His hands, so I was wondering if I really could, trust Him with my healing, with my body, and with my broken heart. I remember asking, over and over, "Why me God, Why me? Who am I? Why is my pain, my burden of hurt and suffering so important to you, to your cause? WHY! WHY! WHY!"
Then in a still, small voice, with a touch, warm and tender, felt Him lifting me up, to Him, and heard Him say, "My sweet, sweet child, I would never ask you to do more than I thought you could handle for my kingdom. I know your suffering, I know your pain. I know the children I entrusted you with need your hand to hold and your arms around them, but as great as this request is that I am asking of you, the greater it means to me that you would consider following my will. Thank you for letting me hold your heart and health in my own hands, I promise, My Grace is sufficient for you, and the healing you will have, at yet another time, will be better and greater than you or anyone could ever imagine. I love you, my child, I know what I am asking you is hard for you to do, because of the expense at this time of your life, but it is for a greater good, than you will ever know or understand here on this earth, and it will have the greatest impact for my kingdom."
I dried my tears, told my Lord, "As you request, I will do for you." I surrendered to Him right then and there, with a part of my life, my body, and the deepest part of my soul, my trust and love that I ever thought possible.
I look back sometimes on my worst days, and think, "Okay God, what would have happened if I hadn't agreed to give you all of what you had asked me to do? Would I have been healed?" I dare not dwell on that answer, because then I think, "at what expense to me, to the kingdom of God?" I know that it would have affected our relationship forever more to come, it would have hurt me more to know that I hadn't trusted my God with every part of me, and I know that the affects of my mistrust would have kept me at a distance from my Lord. Not because He would have distanced Himself from me, but because I would have been to ashamed by not trusting in what He could do for me, that I wouldn't let myself get close to Him, anymore, at least for a while.
Do I know yet why He asked me to give up my healing for the time? Do I have all the answers to this mystery It was for me, for my own life that He asked me to do this, to show me how much I was willing to give up for my Lord. For the advancement of His kingdom. Have I paid a price for what I agreed to that day? No not at all! I have had some good days and some bad days, but for the most part, God has never failed me, never. I have had more energy, more good days on the most important days I needed them, I have felt His presence beside me, through everyday knowing that my obedience and surrender has brought us to a new level of intimacy than I ever thought possible. I had struggled so long with how a real relationship with God would really feel, now I know, and I will never regret my decision. I wouldn't take nothing for this journey that I have had with my Lord, because it gets sweeter and sweeter every day. And knowing that I will one day have complete healing, through all the troubles and trials, it is worth everything I have suffered and endured here on this earth and through this time of my life.
In my own life, I had to face the fact that choosing to be obedient to God in this moment of personal request and total submission, but I also know that I am human, have a freewill, and could have rejected His request for waiting for going forward to be healed. Where do you think you are willing to stand in this moment of life? Do you think you could have sat by and watched the alter call happen for others and not be one inline for the response? Does this make me any better than anyone else because I obeyed God and put my trust in Him that day, when others would have done something else? No, not at all, God asks each of us for something, He wants to see your faith in Him and that you trust Him to give your all to Him, and for each of us it is different, it is never the same for All.
Are you willing to give God that one thing in your life? That thing that He is asking for you to let go of and let Him have His will and way in your life, that thing that if you let go, you are telling God, I TRUST YOU WITH ALL THAT IS IN ME... What is He asking you for today? Are you willing to give it to Him, are you willing to say, "Not my will, but thine be done?" I pray today that you will seek that one thing that will break your heart, that will bring you to that place of total and utter surrender and obedience to God. I pray that God will use you in a mighty way, but that you will take the time to give God your all, to give God that part of you that you have hidden from everyone who you have been hiding your strength and weaknesses to, and let God have His way in your life. I pray you will follow Him, in all you do, AMEN!