When people stop you at church to share their opinion on why their healing prayers have not been answered yet, it can be hard to walk away without feeling bitter. Debbi shares.
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples ask Him, ‘Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'” (John 9: 1-3)
One dear-lady on one of the prayer forums I visit requested prayer for her church and a member of this church. This church-member suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, one of the illnesses we refer to as an “invisible illness” because we can not actually see the results of the damage this illness can cause. Since there is little known about this disorder, the church members took it upon themselves to intervene and try to heal this member in their own way.
Rather than offering support and prayer, they offered her what they assumed was a “sure-fire”cure.
They felt that this lady was not “physically” ill as she had said but rather suffering from sin in her life. They offered her a book that has chemicals on it to help her overcome her problems. The idea is basically that the more she smells the chemicals in this book, the more she will realize that her illness is and has been all in her imagination.
It always breaks my heart when others pass judgment on those who are in pain. . .
Well-meaning church-members assume they have the answers.
Well-meaning friends offer their cures, remedies and advice.
Well-meaning family members don’t understand why we are in pain.
Soon, we find ourselves questioning our life and illness and wondering if sin has been the reason we suffer so. In John chapter nine, we see a similar situation. The disciples saw a blind man. This blind man had suffered all of his life. The disciples ask Jesus who had sinned, him or his parents that he might have such an affliction. Jesus replied neither had sinned.
You see, it does not please God that we suffer, The Lord desires only the best for us, but the Lord can see past our pain in this temporary life to the eternal gain we will someday receive. This man’s weakness was displaying his spiritual strength, by relying on the Lord to work through him.God’s grace was the power for this blind man to endure his burden. He was strengthened as he relied on the strength of the Lord in his life. God’s powerful grace is more real to us in our sufferings. God’s glory could be demonstrated by working through the human weakness.
I know that when my pain is deep and intense and I am so troubled, despaired and alone, I would like to have an interceding friend who is concerned enough to pray for me and with me.
I would like a friend who would listen and understand.
I have that friend today in Jesus.
He is a friend I can always turn to.
He understands me through and through.
What kind of a friend are you today?
Can you intercede for another in pain? Perhaps you need prayer and understanding today in your own life. Remember precious one, you are so loved today and you are not alone. The Lord does understand and He knows your pain.
Dear Lord: Thank You for reminding us it is not our fault that we suffer so. Please help us to forgive ourselves and take away any guilt that is misplaced. You demonstrated in Your Word that this world offers pain because the world is flawed, but that we as individuals are not at fault when illness strikes. We can be blessed and assured that you understand the pain we are in and we are grateful to find any relief through You and Your Word! Thank you, Lord. Amen.
About the author:
Deborah Farmer suffers daily from a few of those invisible illnesses. She desires that everyone in pain today feel the loving arms of a Savior who understands and loves them. Deborah offers her prayers and hugs to you today!
Have you ever been hurt by a well-meaning person who offered a quick cure or solution to your physical ailments? Did you hurt about it even more than your loved ones would have expected? How have you used this experience to respond differently when you are encouraging another person who is suffering?