Sometimes it can feel like God doesn’t care about us, especially when we are suffering or someone we love is in pain.
But, God does care.
I remember soon after I woke up from my medically induced coma in 2015, the tempting lie that God doesn’t care about me, my family, or our pain. People were pleading that God would help me: some believed I’d be healed, some wanted me to be healed or die and be in heaven, and some just begged for any kind of life.
There is a story in the book of John that reflects how He chose to respond to the begging of loved ones for healing.
This story may seem straightforward, but look over John 4:46-54 and follow the path He creates.
Jesus is approached by a man, an official (high-ranking man), whose son is sick. This man seeks Jesus to heal his son but before he gets a word out, “Jesus told him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (John 4:48).
This is not exactly the response he was looking for, so he straight up asks for Jesus to come to his child to heal him. Jesus again does something surprising the man: He simply says “Go, your son will live” (John 4:50).
They had never met before, yet Jesus knew there was a need (his son was sick). He knew the need and cared enough about this man and his son that he declared that his request would be answered.
Jesus cared for a man and his son, not because they did something or had faith (read it again – He knew they did have faith) but because Jesus cared and was showing the world who He was through this act.
But, look close to His words: Jesus says his son will “live,” not full, comprehensive, and restorative healing.
Jesus tells the man his son will live. The man believed what Jesus said and left, and then the man’s servants meet him to tell him his son was “alive” (in the translations is says “recovering”)! Insane, right? Let’s look closer at two amazing things.
Jesus spoke it and it happened.
Okay, we are not like this; we don’t declare something and it happens, only God does that. We don’t speak anything into existence: that right belongs to God and God alone. So, Jesus shows his divinity through healing the boy through His word.
“Go,” Jesus told him, “your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed. While he was still going down, his servants met him saying that his boy was alive. He asked them at what time he got better. “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him,” they answered. The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.”
John 4:50-53a (emphasis added)
Jesus’ healing aren’t just instantaneous
When Jesus healed people we tend to remember the instantaneous ones, but here is just one example of His healing being one of recovery – still miraculous and incredible.
Joni Eareckson Tada wrote this in her book “A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty”:
“God expresses His care in different ways. As many have said so eloquently, sometimes He delivers us from the storm, and at other times He delivers us through the storm. And even if the storm happens to take our earthly life, He delivers us safely into the best and most joyous place we could ever wish for in our most agonizingly beautiful dreams.” (Emphasis added)
When Jesus said it, it happened. Not before or after, but on time and over time.
After Jesus’ healing of this young boy He makes it clear what the purpose of His healing was for the family:
So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was also the second sign Jesus performed after he came from Judea to Galilee.
John 4:53b-54 (emphasis added)
God’s purpose was to bring about faith in the official and his entire household. The healing was a means to an end: to bring about faith. This is because God ultimately cares more about our hearts before Him than our physical health on this Earth.
God heals for our good and ultimately – and more essentially – for His glory. In this short story, God shows that He cares, He can and does heal, and that He saves those who place their faith in Him (not what He gives – healing).
Reader, know and hear this:
1. Pray for God’s healing of sickness, but more importantly pray for the healing of your heart.
2. God can an does heal, according to His perfect will, but He wants you to seek Him for your most important and deepest need: a new heart that repents for our sinfulness and desires God for who He is, not what He gives.
This story, like many after it, is a path to heart change. Praise God for making a path and Praise God for making us new creations with new hearts.
God is good and gracious.