As I write the devotionals for this year, I keep finding myself speaking to you about things that I’m still searching out. Things I’ve thought about for many years but am still trying to unwind the full meaning of…today is one of those days. As I embark on this subject, I am acutely aware that I don’t know the complete answer but I’m excited to see what God reveals to us.
All my life I’ve heard people say, “Lord willing…” as a part of their prayer or even daily conversation. I’ve always wondered about it because often when I hear people saying this it feels like it’s coming from a place of non-belief. Like an excuse for a miracle not to happen, or a dream to come true. Because of the way I discern those who use this statement, I really don’t like to use it very much. I don’t think that statement was ever meant to be weak. Let’s look at this thought in a few different ways…
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Mark 1:40-42
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Matthew 21:22
I often feel a tug of war in these thoughts…partly because as I read through the life of Jesus, all I see is willingness. He heals every single person who asks for healing in the Bible. So, when exactly is He unwilling? Again, this makes me feel like we are the ones missing something. Some part of the expression, as we use it, is inaccurate or incomplete.
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, the verses from James are about daily life, not miracles and healing.”, but are they? It says, “If it’s the Lord’s will, we will live…” That indicates physical circumstances…being alive. To me that shows it also includes healing…as praying for health means praying for more life to live, right?
These thoughts perplex me. I wonder if it’s more of a mindset…I plan and believe for the future, but I know God decides my number of days on this earth. But knowing that shouldn’t mean that I stop living with the future in mind. Also, as I previously stated, Jesus healed all who came to Him…so I believe there is an opportunity for all to be healed, but there’s something else in the midst. And let’s not forget that it also says we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer…I definitely don’t receive all I ask for in prayer yet. These are the things that rub against my heart and make me continually aware that I really need Jesus, and Holy Spirit understanding is paramount in my life. As for the rest of it…I am just confessing that I don’t quite have it all figured out just yet…but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My take aways from what may feel like a confusing devotional topic are these…
- I desire my quiet times to include days when I don’t resolve everything…I want to search out God’s heart and that takes time.
- As long as I live, I’ll pray for and believe for the miraculous…and I will NEVER make scripture bend to what I think it should say. I’ll take God’s word at face value, search it out with Holy Spirit and understand that I will never understand all of it. That’s where the mystery is…
- I believe God is always willing to heal, because that’s what I see Jesus do in scripture without fail, so yet again, there’s more for me to search out.
- He says whatever I ask for I will receive, if I believe…so I need help in my believing muscle.