I hurt my back recently; badly enough that I had to send my toddler to his grandparents for a few days. I have experienced a lot of physical pain during my life, but I honestly have never wrecked my back that badly. The impact it had on my body was immense, I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy and as a result I am weaker on the right side of my body as well as walking with a limp. My uneven hips already create a slightly messed up spine and the lack of muscle in my right leg makes any injury tougher. I have lived with this my entire life, and I have always known I would have to work harder than the average person just in the way I walk. I have learned to live with the palsy, but there are some ways and in some parts of my life that I have questioned God with how He made me.
The Chosen is a current tv show following the life of Jesus (If you have not tuned it, I highly recommend it) this current season the disciples are being sent out on their first mission while Jesus is still on the earth before his crucifixion. The disciple James (not the brother of John) has some physical aliment that makes him limp and slow and he walks with a big stick. He mentions asking Jesus in earlier episodes about why Jesus has not decided to heal him, since he has healed so many others.
This story right here hits home for someone like me. Have I not asked Jesus to heal me? Or have I not asked Him to what purpose? I have believed my entire life that God had a plan for me in spite of my weakness, but in my humanness I still have asked why.
The story goes on to James actually going to Jesus about it. First, for someone who limps I love the fact that James had the audacity to go after Jesus to get his questions answered, because honestly after a long day chasing someone down is the last thing you want to drag your bad leg to do.
The scene goes on that James literally and blatantly askes the question: “Why haven’t you healed me?”
This character is crying. I am sitting on my couch crying; the Jesus character is looking at James with compassion and I am breaking inside.
Jesus then goes on to ask: “Do you want to be healed?” Literally at this point I am like what? YES! Of course, I feel this tension between these characters to my bones, yet I am still waiting for this healing in this character to take place.
Then the Jesus character says something that rocked me to my core, it is the same answer that Jesus has spoken over me, and I have etched in my soul.
Jesus said “Because I trust you.”
This is the point where the character James is crying, I am ugly crying and still, watching that scene over to write this post, I am crying again. This scene between James the disciple and Jesus is the most touching cinematic scene I have ever watched. The lesson he goes on to tell James is people will see and come to fully know the Lord by seeing God work through that disciple’s weakness. What a story to tell that you have the ability to heal the sick and lame when you yourself are lame.
I don’t know what the real James was like, for this is just a show, but this scene made me love Jesus even more. “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”**
To be able to worship the Lord in our weakness, now that is a testimony right there, fully knowing we will never see true healing on this side of heaven. I had a friend that suffered a severe disability his entire life, lacking limbs, having a body that slowly failed him day by day, this kid was incredible. The week that he died I sat next to him; I had watched this kid grow up, I had been his babysitter for ten years and eventually his friend. So, the Lord made us neighbors. He died telling people how much he loved Jesus and how excited he was for heaven. He didn’t let his severe disabilities define his faith.
This question of “Why don’t you heal me?” Can apply to a lot of situations, but I can honestly say when it is a physical healing it just hits different. I have been where James was, even asking the question for my friend, and every time that I do, Jesus responds with such compassion “I did”.
Jesus may not have healed me physically and that physical healing I will never see until I see Him face-to-face, but He did heal me spiritually and in the end that is all that matters. Yes, I still have frustrating days, even as an adult, but those days are put into a unique perspective. Instead of crying out to the Lord, “Why aren’t you healing me?” I can walk with Him and say “He is my strength, and He can use me IN SPITE of my weakness. For that is what He has called me to.
Never underestimate what Jesus can do in spite of you. He trusts you enough to be able to bear it and He is the one who bears the weight that you cannot. This physical weakness has made me more reliant on the Lord and I hope people can see Jesus through it. I am not defined by what the world sees as a setback, but I am refined day by day through Jesus who makes all things right. So go on, ask the question, because Jesus is always ready to answer and through it may it define your faith and give you strength, even if you are limping through it all.