I saw a commercial today for some kind of medical drug claiming to help with whichever illness it was, followed by a good 20 seconds of warnings of terrible side effects, and potentially death. I know I’ve seen similar commercials before, but this time I began to think about how terrible the people with that illness must feel in order to take such heavy risks with potent drugs.
The idea of trading one bad thing for another “lesser” bad is quite common. I learned as I was researching for a seminary paper on biblical authority over demons that one of the primary methods of spiritualist and Jewish healers in casting out demons would be to scare them out with other more powerful demons. These practices emphasized Jesus’ remarkable spiritual authority, especially since He held visible power over all demons and illnesses. It is no wonder that He was also mistaken as using the authority of the ruler of demons in Matthew 12:22-30, since His power was so beyond the norm.
Sometimes it feels like anything is better than whatever we are going through. But the Lord is the only one who can truly heal–the illnesses, the emotions, the soul–and to direct us into the methods and processes that will catalyze that healing. The safest place to be is within God’s rest: whether He directs us to traditional medicine, alternative medicine, unusual and nonsensical healing strategies (and miracles!), or if He works to redirect our focus entirely.
I have dealt with continuous chronic health issues with better and more difficult moments, and can empathize with wanting change. An experience I had a couple years ago ironically changed my heart from seeking “solutions” and helped me to push through those feelings of “what else can I do?” to the new challenge of trusting God as I rest in “the best that I can.” I had been praying to God when I clearly heard a demonic spirit say that if I would renounce God and re-join his army he would heal me in a moment. The call was so audible and so far out of the realm of possibility–God having given me so much, and the enemy having stolen so much–that I was able to put my situation in perspective. Whatever reason for being sick, whatever reason for the delay in my prayers being answered, I realized that the situation was not in my control.
Healing does not come through control, but by complete release and trust in God.