Monday, April 28, 2014

The Faith to Not be Healed

We often hear in the scriptures, in church and in life that miraculous healing often requires faith enough to be healed, and this great faith is all that we need in order to have our maladies taken from us, yielding our weary souls to lives and paths of light and ease.  I do not argue that having faith to be healed is a laudable thing but allow me to open the idea that sometimes the faith to be healed is not enough.  God sometimes requires of us a greater kind of faith, which says in essence, "But if not, not my will but Thine be done."

Some years ago when I first endured the symptoms of post traumatic stress and seizures I thought to myself that it would be a momentary trial for I knew point blank that I had more than ample faith to be healed.  After much prayer, however, the answer I received was that merely having the faith to be healed and requesting an antidote was not enough.  I needed faith enough to not be healed and faith to accept the Lord's will no matter what it was.  The Lord took much time and effort, it seems, to drill into my head for years that I was to relinquish any hope I had in healing from post traumatic stress.  This took quite some time because my faith and optimism proved very deeply rooted.  Nevertheless, I came about two years ago to say within myself that it was okay if I never healed in this lifetime; if that was the Lord's decision then He knew better than I that which was most prudent.  I came to recognize and gain strength from people I saw who carried lifetime burdens - mothers who had lost children, couples who were physically unable to bear children, people throughout history who never found a spouse throughout their long but service rich lives, and people who were born or later contracted severe disabilities.  These people are my heroes and champions.  The Lord loves them, knows them, and understands why He gives them the trials they have.  

One of my favorite Apostles from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, David A. Bednar (yes, I know.  I oughtn't have favorites - they are all superb) discussed in his latest book the faith to not be healed.  He recounts an anecdote in which he counseled a young, newly married couple in the hospital when they discovered that the husband had just been diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer.  They discussed the faith to be healed, and then Bednar spoke words that he claims were not his at all and which he never intended to say.  He asked them if they had faith to not be healed.  Did they have the faith to say "Thy will be done"? I would recommend Power to Become to any interested as a tremendous read and highly encourage all to read the powerful history associated with this young couple.  Sometimes I think we believe that if we do the right thing, God is obligated to bless us in the ways we see fit and desire, but this is hardly the case.  We do the right thing because it is the right thing, having faith that God knows what is best and in the words of Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, "will always give us what we want or something better."

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