“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our trouble, light and momentary, is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, as we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
~2 Corinthians 4:16-18
My father has cancer—for the second time. The first time was colon cancer, and after surgery and chemo, he was declared cancer-free. Our prayers were answered, or, as the doctors said, they cured him. A few years later, he was diagnosed with another tumor, this time on his organs and it was inoperable. He went through chemo for a very long time, but his one tumor became three, and then six, and now, there’s nine tumors and he quit chemo. Obviously, chemo didn’t work but it did make him very sick and my father, who usually weighed around 170 pounds, was down to 118. Since stopping the chemo, against doctor’s advice of course, he is gaining weight again. I’ve been praying for his healing for years, as has his church, my church, and every person I know that I’ve asked to pray for him, yet, he has not been divinely healed. People have laid hands on him, anointed him with oil, and everything else we are instructed to do for the sick (James 5:14-15). Yet, he still has cancer. So, what are we doing wrong? In short, nothing. Sometimes our prayers go unanswered, and as frustrating as that can be, I still believe God heard those prayers and there is an answer.
“As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’ (John 9:1-3).”
In the New Testament, we see a lot of divine healing by Jesus, and by the disciples in the Book of Acts. Throughout the Bible there were times of healing and although it may seem that a lot of people were healed, when you consider the span of time, nearly 3,000 years, there really wasn’t that many people who experienced divine healing. People get sick for various reasons; some will recover, others will not. We are frail humans born with an expiration date, and that’s something no amount of prayer will stop. But when we die or how we die isn’t even the point because we all have to die of something. The point is what we do with the life God gave us. We are here to serve God and Him alone and our reward is not healing, or riches, or anything else we can obtain in life, it’s hearing those words, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23) when we leave this life and step into life everlasting.
Tomorrow, I am flying out to see my father. It will probably be the last time I see him this side of Heaven. It makes me sad to think he will no longer be here for me to call whenever I want. He has a great sense of humor and I can always count on Pop to make me laugh. But I know that when he leaves this life, he will step into the life I long for, one where we see Jesus face-to-face, where we are reunited with those who have gone before us, where there is no more pain or disease or sorrow or tears (Revelation 21:4).
“So, to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).”
Read Isaiah 17-21 (Continue reading Isaiah over the next week while I’m visiting my parents)
© 2017 Marie McGaha