When God Says “No”

While He [Jesus] was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. – Luke 15:12 – 13

The passages describing Jesus healing in the Bible have always been a struggle point for me. I asked God so many times to make my Lyme go away and He said no. And then the Summer of 2017 I was preparing to go on my first veterinary mission trip. On the trip we were asked to lead a few devotionals and I was desperately waiting for God to reveal to me something unique, something I could tell the group that would be meaningful.

I rarely hear God speak clearly to me. Usually the times I set aside to meditate on His Word and pray seem like a big muddle and speaking into a black hole. But that Summer I was reading through Luke and had come to when the leper asks Jesus to heal him and Jesus does. And I felt God answering a question I had had since I had first gotten sick.

What if Jesus had said “no” to the leper?

Jesus is able to fix all our problems from health to relationships. So why so often does He choose not to?

What is OUR response? We kick and scream and cry out, “How can you love me if you don’t fix this for me?”

And yet love isn’t about fixing everything for someone, but being with them throughout their broken life. When we ask, “Lord, if you will, you can make this right.” He still responds with reaching out and touching us. But then instead of the words we so long to hear He says, “You’re right, I DO have the power to fix this for you. I LONG to fix this for you. But you will learn more about me and be a better light for me if you endure this. And I will be there to comfort you, hold you up and encourage you every step of the way. In a broken world you are better fit for service if you yourself are broken. And then He breathes courage into us, so that we can face the next minute, and the next, and the next . . . and that hand He reached out to us with, it never lets go.

Since God spoke to me that day bearing my Lyme has been easier. However, I needed a reminder as I move from my Equine ER rotation to my Small Animal ER rotation. The ER schedule has really messed my body up – my sleep, meal, and medications schedules are a wreck right now. I’m exhausted even though I don’t feel like I’ve been doing much. I’m crabby and the thought of interacting with people is so tiring I’m really anxious about going to school tomorrow. And the worry that my classmates and instructors are judging me for not volunteering for things because I need the rest or doing things wrong or not efficiently because my brain won’t think has my mind in a turmoil.

I need to remember that God never let’s go even when it feels like I’m all alone. I need to remember that if others judge me because they don’t know the whole story that is not my fault. I need to remember that God is using my Lyme struggles to help me and others grow closer to Him. I need to remember all the things I have to be thankful for: the ability to walk, talk, see, and hear; I’ve almost completed my dream of becoming a vet; my dog; my family; my friends; a free country; and my God that hates to see me hurting, but knows the true definition of love.