Well, I just had a great opportunity to share some Gospel truth with a handful of teenagers in the park. They picked the
wrong right guy. I’m sure they did not know what they were getting themselves into when they approached me and quietly handed me this flyer:
It means, “The time has come for your miracle.” And of course, with a picture of an empty wheel chair, it signifies the miracle of healing.
I was just getting ready to leave after spending some time with a young American missionary guy who I have been getting together with each week to encourage him in his walk with the Lord, when these youth came up and handed me the flyer. As soon as I saw it, my heart was burdened to speak the truth to these guys. At first there were also two women who were with them, but in the course of conversation, they left.
So, with my best spanish possible, I started out by saying this: “I believe that the greatest miracle God has ever given is the miracle of salvation that came through the blood of Jesus on the cross.” That certainly grabbed their attention as they realized that I was a Christian. They all nodded their heads in agreement and a few of them said, “Amen.” But then I was compelled to share in love the truth from God’s Word in hopes of correcting their faulted belief. I started out by saying something like this: “I don’t think you all will agree with what I am going to say, but it is from the Bible. I don’t believe that the Bible teaches us that we have the authority to heal whomever.” They agreed with that and told me that it is not us who has the authority, but God. I agreed with them, but then told them that nowhere in the Bible does it state that, while on this earth, everybody who has faith can and should be healed. This is where they were able to see that their view and mine differed significantly.
One young guy told me that the Bible says that we are to lay hands on the sick and heal them. I explained that sure we could lay hands on the sick and ask God for His healing, but it is rather preposterous (certainly didn’t use that word in spanish) of us to think that we can command God to heal whomever we want. Or that we can command God to do anything. God is God. We are subject to Him, not Him to us. They shared with me that anybody who had enough faith could and should be healed by God. They referenced the woman who had the issue with blood who had faith and was healed just by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment.
Oh this was very personal for me now, after less than two years ago I was crying out to God and watching my 4 year old daughter die right in front of me. So, I told them that what happened in the Gospels was all true, but that it was Jesus who did these healings because He was showing us all what the Kingdom of God would be like. In the Kingdom of God, I said, there will not be any sickness or blindness or wheelchairs. All will be perfectly well. And this is what Jesus was demonstrating to us. He was giving us a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God would look like. But until the Kingdom of God comes in its full completion, not all will be perfectly well here on this earth, whether for the Christian or non-Christian.
At that point, I had their attention. Then, I took it to a personal level. I told them this, “If what you say then is true that anybody should be healed who has enough faith, then tell me why me and my family, who love God more than anything and trust in Him with our very lives, had to sit by our four year old daughter’s bedside and watch her take her last breath on this earth as she died of cancer.” They were speechless. Their eyes looked stunned, like something wasn’t computing in their brains. One kid’s eyes got watery. I told them this to let them know that what they are promoting just isn’t true. Its not biblical. I affirmed that God is powerful to heal and that I believe He still heals today in miraculous ways, but that we have no right whatsoever to claim healing when, in fact, it may not be the Lord’s will. God’s will is not that every Christian on this earth is healed. That is His will for the future, when the end of time comes and His Kingdom is fully established, but we are certainly not yet living in those times.
I shared with them Psalm 139 where it states that “all our days were recorded before one of them came to be.” I told them that my daughter’s death was not due to lack of faith on her part, my part, or anybody’s part, but rather that it was her time according to God’s sovereign plan. And that suffering does not mean that we lack faith. I reminded them of the verse that says, “through suffering we enter the Kingdom of God.” The one that was quick to talk with neatly packaged answers stopped and looked at his friend, who then confirmed with him that this verse was actually in the Bible. So, then I encouraged them, each one of them, to go home today or tomorrow and read the Book of First Peter and ask the Lord to reveal to them if what they have been promoting is really from the Bible. I encouraged them to see in the pages of Scripture that some of the most godly men and women suffered much. That suffering was not an indicator of a lack of faith. They all agreed to read the Book of First Peter as I suggested. Then, the two other women, who had left early in the conversation, started beeping their horn telling them that they had to go.
But, this was a great conversation and I know that the Lord ordained it. Those kids left with much to think about, and I just pray that the Lord opens their eyes as they read through the Book of First Peter and understand that the godly will suffer…for a time…and then will come the glory…forever. May the Lord use me to proclaim this message that the church in Latin America desperately needs to understand. So much of the church focuses on a prosperity Gospel that makes Jesus out to be a puppet whom they can control and get the things they want simply by using the name of Jesus enough times in their prayers. Oh that eyes would be opened to see that the greatest miracle of all is that He would save wretched sinners such as us. Doesn’t that alone give us enough to focus everything upon Him, whether we’re in wheelchairs, living in the oncology ward, or wherever. He is so worthy for what He has done. I should not wish to command Him to do anything else. He is God. He can do as He so chooses. I’m just thankful that what He chose to do was heal me of my sin that would not only keep me crippled here on this earth, but that would damn me to hell forever. Yes, He has done great things. He has prepared a place in Heaven for His children. He has promised to come again one day and He will make all things new! Oh, this alone I can spend a life time dwelling upon.