Last week, one of my young nephews was hospitalized for pneumonia. He has some disabilities, so it was a scary time for all of us. Obviously, there were a lot of prayers sent up on his behalf. During my prayer time, I remembered the scripture from Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
As I prayed, I pictured my nephew with clear lungs, sitting up completely healed in his hospital bed, with doctors and nurses around him baffled by this miracle. In my mind, his healing would happen immediately, so all would see the glory of God and know he exists and cares for his children. I believed it fully, and I expressed my belief to others.
But it didn’t happen this way. For a couple of days, my nephew really struggled, and things took a scary turn. Several days later, he was finally well enough to be sent home from the hospital with antibiotics to take over the span of the next two weeks. I couldn’t help but wonder: why, if I believed as scripture instructed, did his healing not immediately happen?
I thought on it and prayed about it, and it occurred to me—perhaps God had other purposes in mind. See, during this time, the people in my brother and sister-in-law’s lives rallied around them. They didn’t just pray, but also extended help. People brought them meals, gave them gift cards, and helped with groceries. They served them and modeled Jesus to my brother’s family. If my nephew had been healed overnight, these acts of service may not have happened.
God used the community of faith around my brother, sis-in-law, and their children to be the example we all should be. This may have been what they needed as a whole—to see this in action, to bear witness to Jesus being revealed around them to give them reassurance about so much more than just the healing of a little boy’s body. Only God knows what this meant to them overall.
God’s purposes are not limited to what our human minds and hearts can fathom. He is so much bigger than the box we try to put him in. I’ll admit this here—I have struggled with having faith lately. I cannot see God’s plan, and since it is in my human nature to try to control everything, I consistently wrestle with letting go and submitting to God. This realization hit me this morning. It all comes down to a matter of trust, and lately I have not trusted him enough. This morning, I asked for forgiveness and for his help in this matter. I know that I cannot claim to know what is best. God can see the big picture; I can only see a small portion.
My brother and sister-in-law were deeply touched by their community, and my nephew is now on the mend while at home with his family. The above story is just a small example of how God works in beautiful ways. I have seen the goodness of God, in the life of others and in my own. He is a God worthy of my trust. This truth can be seen if we only look for it.