heart was pounding. Beads of sweat were
pouring down my forehead and the back
of my neck. I was totally focused on my
objective -- to walk a mile on the treadmill.
My goal each week was to spend at least
three days in the gym to improve my health.
A middle-aged woman beside me suddenly
interrupted my train of thought, "Boy,
this sure does wear you out, doesn't it?"
She was staring at me waiting patiently
for a reaction or comment. "Yes,
it really does. But you know what they
say, no pain, no gain."
few moments passed. "What happened
to you? I mean, I noticed you walk with
a cane." I was asked this question
a lot. But telling my story always gave
me an opportunity to share what the Lord
had done in my life. "In 1982, my
family and I were going to Florida for
Thanksgiving when we were hit head-on
by a drunk driver. My back was broken,
and I was paralyzed from the waist down.
doctors told me I would never walk again,
but the Lord intervened and chose to heal
me. Today, I am only paralyzed from the
knees down, wear leg braces and walk with
a cane." She had to think a moment
before she responded. "If you pray
more, you know, the Lord will completely
clearly had a misunderstanding of God's
Word and his promises. Comments like this
used to offend me but I had to recognize
the, theologically speaking, this woman
simply did not have correct doctrine even
though she meant well. She was so I had
to be careful not to offend or hurt her
I have prayed, and God has healed me.
Even though I would love to be perfectly
'able-bodied' again, apparently that is
not God's will for my life. I rejoice
that I am even able to walk."
Christ is the Great Physician, and he
has all authority and power to work miracles,
but he does not always answer our prayers
in the way we may think best! Jesus does
say that all we need is the faith of a
mustard seed to move moutains (Matt. 17:20
NASB) and that we can do all things through
Him (Phil. 4:13), but what is the context
of those passages? We simply cannot take
passages of Scripture and trun them into
what we want them to say. We must look
at the Bible as a whole and understand
God in His overall character. Here is
an example, Paul was an apostle and constantly
prayed for healing of his "thorn
in the flesh" (2 Corinthians12:7).
because God did not heal him, does that
mean Paul did not pray hard enough? Certainly
not. God allowed the thorn in Paul's life
so that he could be glorified somehow
through it. I had lovingly presented the
truth to this woman while at the same
time challenging her thinking. That was
all I could do. Out time on the treadmill
was complete. The woman sympathetically
smiled at me and wished me well before
we went separate ways.
encounter challenged my own thinking.
I went through a range of emotions as
I pondered her comment. Man's perception
of wholeness is someone with two working
legs, two working arms, two good eyes
and two good ears. Yet, wholeness is not
dependent on circumstances or physical
or emotional being.
only comes from within -- from a relationship
with Jesus Christ! My body may seem "broken"
to some people, but I am just as whole
as any other person. Every single human
that has ever been or ever will be, other
than Jesus Christ, has been "broken".
We are all contaminated by the sinful
world in which we live. Even people without
disabilities are not whole. They simply
cannot be unless they have Christ.
simple comment, which this woman made
to me, was evidence of her belief system
surrounding God and his goodness. She
could not comprehend how God could have
left me partially paralyzed if I had really
prayed hard enough for healing. Of course
I had prayed for healing! It is not by
works or performance that we are saved,
however. Whether we pray hard or lightly,
God's will is going to take place. Why?
Beccause He's in charge and we're not!
My understanding of healing was to be
completely normal again physically, but
that was not God's plan for my life. Neither
does my perception of wholeness match
up to God's perfect perception of wholeness.
have learned that I erally must keep this
whole concept in perspective if I am to
grow in my daily walk with my Lord. I
must recognize my need for Him before
He can use my disabled body in its fullness
to bring glory upon Him. The basic line
is that we are all "broken,"
we are not whole. No matter how good we
look on the outside, it is just a shell.
So, just like everyone else on the face
of this planet, I am broken -- but I don't
need fixin'. Jesus has already done that
in my life!