Those of you who have read here for a while know the name Lisa Fish as a young mother of four who has battled an aggressive leukemia. During her illness all of the healing suggestions in the Bible have been followed, from laying on the hands of elders to praying without ceasing. The prayer request now is for comfort for this family that has been such a blessing to us. Wednesday, her beloved husband wrote the following and posted it to share with those who accompanied them in prayer. He has kindly given permission to share it with others who have prayed with them. Your prayers have been and are greatly appreciated.
If God Does Not Heal
by Marty Fish
on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 4:43pm.
What does it mean, when one adheres to the Scripture, and follows it to the letter in promises of healing, and yet no healing occurs? If one believes with all his heart - and we know the Holy Bible says if you have faith, whatever you ask will happen - yet if it does not, what does it all mean?
It means God is sovereign.
We pray, we fast, we cry out to God, we plead, and beg for him to do what WE want. When he does not, we become disillusioned, disheartened, upset, and even angry. Some become furious and angry with God, even cursing him. Many lose faith, and even reject God, because he does not DO what they WANT. It can be very upsetting and confusing. I know, because I have been through all these emotions myself.
The reality is, however, God is sovereign. This means he is not a puppet. He cannot be controlled. You cannot “name it, and claim it,” to manipulate him. If God healed every single person who cried out to him to be healed, there would be no one sick or diseased. It would be a “magic formula” that everyone would use. If he saved every person from death, who pleaded with him, there would be no one dead, yet we know everyone dies. Consider everyone in the New Testament who Jesus healed. Did they not die eventually? Yes, even Lazarus, who God raised from the dead, again had to die. We all die. God is sovereign.
In my recent anger and hurt, the Lord taught me this. In Luke 4:25 Jesus tells us, “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
What this means is that in the day of Elijah, when there was a deadly drought, there were many widows dying of starvation, and the reality is, they died. God was acutely aware of that. Did God send Elijah to save them all? No, just one, and her son. Why? Because God is sovereign. This is the reality. Jesus tells us that there were many lepers in Elisha’s day, yet he healed only one. Why? Because God is sovereign. It is his choice, and we, as mere mortals, must honor and respect that.
Miracles are called “miracles,” because they are, in fact, rare. They never occur, or at least they don’t seem to. This is why, if a miracle does happen, we are able to call it a miracle. This is how God receives great glory. Quite honestly, in my lifetime, I have never seen a miracle. Do I believe they happen? Absolutely! This is what faith is for, believing the unbelievable.
These things are the reason Job said those great words, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21b) We love to think that God gives, but we hate to accept that he also takes away. We have to accept that, trust him anyway, and bless the name of the Lord.
I know many who are sick, dying, crippled, and hurting. Does God know all this? Yes, he is acutely aware of it. Does he hear their pleas and cries? Yes, he does. Will he heal them all? No, he will not, or at least that is what it seems, based on his historical track record. Why? It is because we will all die anyway. It is not a matter of how, when, where, or why we will die. It is a matter of the heart. Will we die cursing God, or will we die blessing his name, as Job was prepared to do? This is what proves our character. Life is simply… a test.
Some of the best Christians I know are crippled, or infirmed and they love the Lord. They are godly, and amazing people. They are living miracles, or what I would call enigmas. The world looks at them and sees their mortal curse, yet they marvel at their great love, faith, and wisdom. The world cannot understand how these souls can “bless the name of the Lord,” in such great suffering and travail. This is what God does, because their mystery of suffering brings him greater glory. Yes, even greater than healing.
The book of Daniel teaches us a great lesson. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were about to be burned alive, for not bowing down to an idol. They answered and said to the king, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
“But if not…” Those are three powerful words. They knew God could save them, if he wanted to, but they were wise and knew that he might not, just as well. Either way, they were prepared to live for him, no matter the consequences. That is what God wants from each of us as well.
So dear friends, I write these words with a heavy heart, knowing that my dear wife Lisa is in her final hour. I have been broken hearted beyond explanation. She is barely breathing, and holding on for dear life, and we are all hurting. Yet, I know that God is able to deliver her. But if not, bless the name of the Lord, because in all things, God is, and will always be, sovereign