Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Faith & Healing

Dear Jen,

Why is this topic of healing always an issue for me? I struggled with it when I learned of your baby Elisabeth. I believed she could be healed but at the same time she had a condition that never had been healed before so I knew that this was most likely not in God’s plan for her. I guess I feel the same way about Down Syndrome. The Lord knit these babies in their mothers’ womb and praying for “healing” is a struggle because who is to say they should be different than what they are now? Elisabeth taught me what true Hope is. She had a purpose beyond her little life. Why can’t we think the same of these babies with Down Syndrome?

Then I wonder if maybe I lack the faith I should have. Am I way off-base and I should be praying that certain conditions should be different? The Lord knows my struggle and continues to give me peace as I seek His thoughts and ways on it.



This was definitely among the hardest parts of our journey with our daughter. We’d waited so many years to finally conceive, and then we find our our baby had a lethal condition. Right away people dismissed the prognosis (God will heal!) and like you’ve experienced, ignored the medical information (Doctors are wrong all the time!). Levi and I felt a specific calling to accept the bad news and yet live gracefully with it. Of course we hoped beyond all hope that our baby would be born screaming and normal, but around that time I had read Philip Yancy’s Prayer, and my thoughts about healing were actually being lived out in front of me: God CAN heal, but He is in charge and He doesn’t always choose to do this. I believe the healthiest perspective is to acknowledge how confusing this is to us as humans. We desire healing and He created us to have these longings, but we live a broken world and this is one of the examples.

I cannot picture Elisabeth any other way–if I imagine her to be healed from her fatal dwarfism, I am picturing a different baby. At the same time, if we lived in a perfect, heavenly world, there would be no fatal illnesses or painful medical problems. Or for that matter, no cellulite or wrinkles or jealousy or judgement. Even though our babies are perfect gifts, WHATEVER their conditions, I do think there is room for healing. They aren’t flawless. We pray for their health just like we pray for the health of our seemingly “normal” babies (have we not both prayed for our quick-tempered children to get control?!).

I love how Philip Yancy says it:

When I fall sick, or learn of physical suffering in a friend or loved one, I bring that request to God, whom the Bible describes as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” Sickness, not health, is the abnormality that Jesus came to expose. While not solving all the problems on earth, Jesus’ miracles gave a clear sign of how the world should be, and someday will be. His acts of healing restored to specific individuals what had been spoiled on the planet as a while.

Maybe I’m the one with the faith issue, because I’m perfectly fine with living with all this gray.


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