“I just don’t understand. We prayed for your dad’s healing so hard. We prayed every day. And it didn’t come. Do you know what I mean?”
I sat on those words for several days. Honestly, they had not yet crossed my mind. This very dear person and I were processing the grief. I had to let those words just sink in for a little while. And then I finally could verbalize what I was feeling.
How small, how childlike we must seem to God. This merciful, omnipotent Father who can stand back and see all of his moving tapestry. He can see how every thread he has woven into salvation history, even the dark, course ones, still bring great beauty to the whole picture.
But us. We are the tiny threads. We are inside of the moving tapestry. We cannot stand back, until our time on earth is through, and see what God has fashioned. Our perspectives are flawed and our desires sometimes misplaced.
We live in a fallen world mired in nearly perpetual suffering. No day goes by without some suffering tucked inside, even if it’s a stubbed toe as we are heading for bed. Often, the suffering is greater and much more painful. Through these times, we have our faith and our people to get us through. We vent to our friends, we call our moms…or dads. We text our siblings, lean on our spouses.
And then, all of a sudden, someone’s presence is threatened. Their health is failing or there’s a medical emergency. And we hit our knees and pray. “Lord, spare them. Let them heal. Let them get better.” Because we are selfish and we love them. We cannot imagine our path to Heaven without them. The thought of their absence chokes us with fear. We bargain. “Please, God, I’ll pray everyday for an hour if you save them.” We beg. “Please, please God save them.”
But sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes, He doesn’t spare them death. Sometimes, even if we think it can’t possibly happen to me, our person dies. We watch them struggle in their last breaths, we blink and they are gone. And life, as we have known it, is over. We are left with a gaping hole through our chest, hot tears falling down our faces, and questions of “Lord, why didn’t you heal him?”
Our perspective is off.
We beg and plead for God to spare them. To heal them. Why? So they can stay in a world mired in suffering, experiencing pain and struggle everyday. So they can stay with us. So we don’t have to live a life without them. So we don’t have to redefine our normal, go without the phone calls; so we don’t have to stop saying their name, or hearing their voice.
He is healed.
I begged God to heal my dad. I bargained, I admit it. I pleaded, I wept. I begged Him to let my dad recover. I asked him to heal his many wounds, to stop the constant complications. I asked if He would please make my dad whole again.
And God did.
God took my dad to Heaven and healed him more than he ever was in life. God made my father whole in a way he was not on earth. He eased his pain and stopped the complications. God gave my father a joy that he never felt here. A joy he prayed he’d one day to see. None of us thought it would come so soon.
We pray for healing and for the easing of suffering. And, even in death, especially in death, He gave it to my father.
The grief that makes me weep every night is only because my dad is gone from my sight. Because he has left us, and we are alone. We now lack his advice, his humor, his kissing the top of my head every time I saw him. We can’t see his radiating smile anymore. I cannot call him, I cannot converse with him anymore. There is a gaping hole so wide and so empty that it sometimes hurts to breathe.
But, God healed him. Somehow, the grief is eased knowing that my dad sits at the feet of Jesus no longer in pain. And after seven weeks of what I saw, that alone is a relief. His beautiful faith, his life of prayer, his daily intercession for a happy death, all his prayers–and ours–were answered. The great divine Physician dropped down His merciful Hand and scooped him home, healing my dad as He lifted him away.
How much more radiant must his smile be. How much more joyful is my dad. How pain free, how simply happy.
He was healed. In the most beautiful way possible, he is well again.