Remembering to Praise in Hard Times

My husband and I recently attended the funeral of a friend who battled breast cancer for three years. Another friend’s wife is celebrating remission. Our niece was diagnosed with the same cancer in March. She has two young daughters. My heart breaks to see what she is going through.

“I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”  Acts 3:6

So many miracles in the Bible!  Especially in the Gospel of Luke and his follow up with the Book of Acts. Luke, the physician, sees the infirmed and the struggling and extends an extra measure of compassion by telling their stories.

I want with all my heart to be able to do something, say something, anything to make it better for her or any of my other suffering loved ones.

For every healing in the Bible there were so many that remained in their infirmities.

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Was it a lack of faith? Wrong place, wrong time? I don’t believe it was either of these things.

The healings were almost always intended to point to something bigger. Many of those healed did not even know who Jesus was before He opened their eyes, brought them to their feet or healed their rotted skin.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”  John 12:27 ESV

I noticed something interesting about the concept of healing or wellness in the New Testament.

Several Greek words translate into the English concept “to heal, to make well,” and there is a lot of meaning tied up in each one. One of those words is the root behind our English word therapy. Another is the root for the concept of hygiene.

When asked about the physical healing of a 40-year-old man born without the use of his legs, Peter used the word sozo which is different but entirely correct. It is correctly translated “to save, to heal, to rescue.” I’m sure that man would not quibble with saying that the disciples saved his life or rescued him from his affliction. What is remarkable is that just a few verses later Peter applies this same word when he boldly proclaims,

…there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we might be saved. Acts 4:12b

Here he uses the same word for spiritual healing as he used just a few verses earlier for physical healing. This got me to thinking about not just the miracles but about the message.

Jesus uses that same word, sozo, above in John 12:27. He was struggling. His soul was troubled. But HE knew that only through His sacrifice might physical healing become spiritual healing for us.

God used healings not for their own purpose but to point to the crippling, sin-sick nature in all of us. We all stand under a terminal diagnosis and only through the transfusion of the cross do we pass from death to life.

Does this comfort my friend’s parents, spouse and children?

Yes.

Does it make it hurt less?

No.

“God is so good.”

That is what my sweet friend and her family would want me to tell you now.

He is good not because she received a miracle, but because HE walked with her every step of the way. Ushering her into eternity in His presence.

I pray we find a cure for cancer. That it might be eradicated even as small pox or polio, but I know we are all dying by degrees. The only hope for eternal life is through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

C.S. Lewis said it best, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Are you awake?

If you received a staggering physical diagnosis tomorrow would you have any confidence Jesus Christ cared for you? Not just in the next life but desires to walk with you now?

I know I believe these things in my own heart, but there are things in my life that need to change so I might live this belief on the outside as well. When it is my time to go, I pray I too will be remembered for my praise of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

When sickness overwhelms you or your loved ones can you still remember to praise Jesus?Click To Tweet

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Liz Clayton

Liz Clayton

Liz, the mother of two wonderful adult children, and her husband desire to pursue the LORD where ever HE leads… Her spiritual gifts of prayer and encouragement have facilitated work as a disaster relief chaplain and helping parents to actively pray for their children at every age.
Liz Clayton

About Liz Clayton

Liz, the mother of two wonderful adult children, and her husband desire to pursue the LORD where ever HE leads… Her spiritual gifts of prayer and encouragement have facilitated work as a disaster relief chaplain and helping parents to actively pray for their children at every age.

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