A few weeks ago, my world went numb. While in Arkansas hiking with my family, over the course of the weekend I began to lose feeling in my body. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt a continuous numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. I dismissed it at first, hoping it was nothing, but by Monday, the numbness had reached up to my chest, and I was brought in to the emergency room. We were all praying for healing.
Sitting in the ER, fear filled my mind and I cried out, “Lord, heal my body.”
Maybe you’re also experiencing some health difficulties. Or maybe someone you love needs healing. Whatever your situation, if you find yourself praying for healing, remember that God is with you in the midst of it all.
Over the course of three days, I spent almost two hours in the MRI machine and had multiple blood tests and other exams to try to understand what was going on with my body. Various doctors asked me to explain my symptoms over and over as they tried to grasp for an answer.
When no answers came, my mind filled with frustration, more fear, and even anger. Faced with these feelings, I turned to the Lord. Each day I repeated the same prayer: “Lord, heal my body.” In the midst of my fears in that hospital room, I had no words of praise, so I turned on familiar worship songs to fill the room with melodies of truth.
Every day, people were praying for me. They asked the Lord for answers and healing because they knew He was bigger than my illness. Several people texted me words of encouragement, and many people came and sat with me in my small hospital room.
On Tuesday night, my LifeGroup came and visited me. These girls with whom I live life and study God’s Word gathered around me and started praying for healing from the Lord. There was never a moment that I was alone, because the Lord was right there with me.
Toward the end of my hospital stay, the doctors shared their conclusion that I had multiple sclerosis. My body was attacking itself and destroying the myelin that covers my axons.
After praying for healing and answers, I was handed a diagnosis that would affect me for the rest of my life. Already diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy as an infant, in my mind this news meant another piece of me was broken and shattered. But the Lord had a different message to share with me.
In that moment and in that pain, the Lord’s small still voice reminded me of a truth that I had read the week before in the Bible during my devotional time:
This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT
I had read verse 11, “For I know the plans I have for you …” a million times before, but I had never read the verse before it. This well-known promise came after the Lord told the people of Israel that they would be forced from their homes to live in captivity in a foreign land for 70 years! That hardship was part of the good and perfect plan the Lord had for His children. This gave me surprising comfort!
Sometimes our circumstances don’t line up with the “plans for good” that we expected from God, and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis was never something I asked for. But, no matter what, He is always with us, and He promises that if we look for Him wholeheartedly, we will find Him.
God is a loving Father, and His plans for us are “to give us a future and a hope” even when don’t see it or feel it. As followers of Christ, we must trust Him and believe that His plans are higher and far greater than we can ever understand—especially in the middle of a trial.