Why doesn’t God heal me? Actually, I had never even asked that question until an unfortunate Facebook post made me start thinking about it.
There was a meme going around that included a statement about healthcare. The statement, made at a prayer breakfast, was something along the lines of, “What we need isn’t more healthcare. What we need is more of Jesus in our lives,” something completely expected at an event like that. My son saw that post and it definitely did not go over well with him. He responded quite strongly to it, referencing my faith, my illness, and the fact that I haven’t been healed.
Over the years he has seen me deal with debilitating migraines, surgery for endometriosis, and a catheter ablation to “burn off” what was described as an extra electrical connection in my heart. Now he’s out on his own and although he doesn’t see the day-to-day issues with my fibromyalgia he knows enough about it to know it impacts the way I live each day. It’s easy to understand why he was offended by any suggestion that we don’t need healthcare, and his response made me start thinking about how people might view the relationship between faith and healing. That led to thinking about why God might have chosen not to heal me, whether supernaturally or through medical interventions (which to me is a miracle in itself.)
As I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t something I had previously thought about. My question was always, “Lord, what do You want to teach me through this?” I firmly believe He can use whatever we go through for good and I felt that there had to be some purpose for it. I just ask for grace and strength to get through each day.
I obviously don’t know what is going on in the mind of God, but I believe there could be a couple of reasons He has allowed this particular challenge.
First, maybe there were some things I needed to learn. I know this has definitely been a learning experience. Here are just some of the lessons:
- God cares about everything in our lives. I can pray about even the simplest things and He will hear and answer me.
- I don’t always have to be the strong one. It’s okay to let someone else carry part of the load.
- It’s okay to ask for help. I used to hate to ask for help, but I’ve learned that not asking can rob those who love you of a blessing.
- God’s grace is sufficient. On those days when I’m just a complete mess, He carries me through.
- People will often surprise you. For a long time I was very guarded about letting anyone know I have fibromyalgia because of the negative experiences others have had, but I’ve learned I have some wonderfully loving, supportive people in my life.
Next, perhaps God is using my illness to help others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (NIV) We are in a unique position to help others when we’ve been through something similar to what they’re going through. Fibromyalgia may have taken away some things, but it has certainly given me the ability to be empathetic and the desire to help others who are trying to find a way to live with their “new normal.”
Last but not least, God has helped me find my purpose in this next chapter of my life. Ever since I retired from the military I’ve felt kind of…..I’m not sure exactly what…..I’ve just felt that I haven’t done anything that really matters. I’ve kept busy – I went back to school and got my B.S. in Religion, got my certifications and worked as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, and got my Life Coach certification – but I just didn’t feel I was making a difference. Now, sharing my story to help others know that they can have happy, fulfilling life even if they live with fibromyalgia or other chronic illnesses has given me a new sense of purpose.
I wouldn’t have chosen to have a chronic illness, but I’ve known from the very beginning that God would use it. Why doesn’t He heal me? I don’t know. What I do know is that not just in spite of, but because of this illness, I have an opportunity to speak hope and love into the lives of others. What could be better?