Why Doesn't God Heal Everyone?

Last week, I shared why I, as a skeptic living in our modern scientific world, have felt compelled to accept the fact that miracles are possible and that Jesus performed miracles.  However, there’s still one other problem I’ve had in accepting them: Why does God perform them for some people but not others?  Why doesn’t He heal everyone who needs it?  This arbitrariness is hard to reconcile with a God of love.

Beyond what He reveals to us, there is no way to understand the mind of God; He is infinite and all-knowing.  We are not.  So I can accept that He is far wiser than us and, because He sees everything from the perspective of eternity and we do not, I can accept the fact that there is some ultimate good in how He chooses to heal that we can’t see on this side of eternity.  Because we are finite creatures, it’s entirely possible that what seems to us to be His arbitrary decision to heal may be perfectly reconcilable with His perfectly loving will. 

But how can we be sure?  How can we be sure that He does love us even when He doesn’t heal us the way we want Him to?

When I was in seminary, my professor addressed this very question.  He said that all our prayers for healing are really—ultimately—prayers for resurrection.  This is what we really desire.  This, resurrection, is the only complete healing we can find.  Even Lazarus, who Jesus brought back to life in one of the most spectacular healings He performed, would die again.  It’s only when we are transformed in the final Resurrection that we will be fully healed, and in every way: physical, psychological, spiritual. 

What made my professor’s remarks so powerful—and memorable—was the fact that his first wife had died of cancer.  He had prayed his heart out for her healing.  But God didn’t heal her.  At least not in the way he desired or thought best.  But what he came to see, through the eyes of faith, is that the one promise Jesus makes to all who trust in Him is that they will be resurrected too.  Whether He heals them beforehand or not, He will heal all who believe in Him in this ultimate way.  My professor came to see that his wife had been healed in this way and that there is no better way.

Have you ever seen a little child fall and scrape their knee or bump into something then pop right up and look around for their parents.  They’re fine…until they get their parents attention.  Then they have a meltdown, wailing and crying and carrying on.  One of their parents will eventually scoop them up and hold them, repeating something like “Everything going to be OK”.  And fairly quickly the wailing stops, the tears dry up, and they rest contentedly in their parent’s arms—or ask to be let down so they can go back to playing!  The scrape is still there.  The bruise is still there.  The bump is still there.  It still hurts.  But they feel much better because their parents scooped them up and told them everything is going to be OK.

Reading the stories of Jesus’ miracles in the Gospels provides the same comfort—even for adults.  It’s like God scooping us up and saying everything is going to be OK.  Whether we receive the same kind of imminent healing or not, they assure us that, because Jesus had the power to heal this way, He will heal us fully too, in the Resurrection.  In fact, as many commentators have pointed out, the Gospel miracles are more than particular instances of healing.  They are signs, for us.  Signs of the Kingdom.  Signs that God will do the same and so much more for us.  They aren’t arbitrary at all.  They are meant for all of us, to show us that His mission to vanquish evil, to heal every hurt, and to lead us to resurrection where everything will be transformed and perfected, has begun.

They are there to show us that everything is going to be OK.

Do you ever struggle with this question?  Do you need a miracle in your life right now?  Do you need God to do the impossible and wonder why He isn’t?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  You can go to the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website and leave your comments there.

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

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