Today’s blog post I am gonna write about something I know nothing about – which really isn’t all that unusual for me. But I wanted to just let you know up front because I know a lot of you will have questions. I have questions but no concrete answers. Who knows maybe YOU will have the answers to my questions – in which case I should be letting YOU write this post.
As many of you know I am doing Beth Moore’s study on the book of James.
James is a very convicting book – well ALL of the Bible is convicting but you know what I mean. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He tells it just like it is. It’s not hard to grasp the meaning of what he is saying. Even the passage I am gonna discuss today seems very straightforward and easy to understand, yet I don’t get it. Here is the passage for today – James 5:13-15a:
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.
I have been raised in church all my life and have seen the elders of a church pray over someone and anoint them with oil. I have been anointed and prayed over a few times in my life. Yet here I am day in and day out for 18 1/2 years still suffering with Fibromyalgia. So I don’t get it. Is my faith lacking? That is a very real possibility. Has the faith of those who prayed over me and anointed me been lacking? Also a possibility. So my question is how can I change that. And honestly if I have the faith of Abraham when he stood before that altar ready to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac, would that make a difference?
I was very apprehensive about reading what Beth had to say about this passage throughout the entire study. Last night was the night that the study homework covered this passage. I couldn’t even answer the questions asked in the homework. All I could manage to do was read her commentary. My heart was pounding and it felt like an elephant sitting on my chest.
What I believe is the answer to my dilemma is that God has another purpose in my illness. Beth put it this way –
“When we’re sick, we pray like made for healing and summon leaders to pray likewise over us and, yes, anoint us with oil. If we remain ill after diligent, enduring, faith-filled prayer, particularly upon the part of our intercessors, what do we do? We entrust ourselves to the hands of our faithful God and His sovereign plan, abiding voraciously in His love.” – James: Mercy Triumphs page 179
No one can explain really why some people receive their healing on this earth and why others must wait. After giving it some heartfelt thought and prayer and discussion today at Bible Study I’m not sure if my lack of belief that he will heal me really has anything to do with whether or not I receive my healing here or in Heaven. I believe it all boils down to what God’s purpose is behind my illness. I will be honest, because that’s what this blog is all about, I think if I could make a “deal” with God to carry out the purpose without having to suffer I would do that. I believe I know the purpose for my suffering. I think I know why he has given me this burden to bear. And I think I am fulfilling that purpose. But I’d like the chance to do that work without having to suffer.
I also think part of the reason for my suffering is a lesson in expanding my faith. While the Bible tells me that God is able I don’t understand then why he doesn’t! Sometimes I get angry with God. And I know he expects that. He’s a big boy – he can handle it. And he is patient enough to walk with me and continue teaching me how to trust him – how to believe him – how to have faith in him. My question is – will I learn this lesson before I actually get to Heaven and get my ultimate healing? Now THERE is a challenge.