by Heather Bock
What happens when the healing doesn’t come?
I injured my calf almost a year ago running. I’m not sure why this injury still haunts me, but twinges of pain still occasionally shoot through the muscle now and then. As a result, I, the one who has been running since sixth grade, am not presently running. Instead, I’ve been walking. I didn’t use to like walking for exercise–I found it too boring–but when I started walking to replace my runs, I started using the time to pray, and this has changed my entire outlook.
It is true that I used to pray when I ran, too. I would ask Jesus to join me on my runs, and I did sometimes have some really special times with Him while running, especially on easy runs, but often my prayers went something like this: “God, please help my son to fall in love with You. Speak to him through Your Holy Spirit and give him…” then my mind would drift off for a good five minutes, when I would suddenly remember that I was praying and start up again for a new person until I would once again zone out, just to continue the cycle again and again. My brain doesn’t do too well when my body is tired.
I don’t spend any of my time asking that God would heal my calf anymore because I treasure my walks alone with God. After all, I homeschool my boys, so as a result, they are almost always home with me. It’s hard to find time alone with God. Walking in the deserted woods, though, despite the inevitable spider webs, is a beautiful place to openly commune with Him. Even walking in my quiet neighborhood or the nearby college campus is a much more intimate time with Him than in my distracting house.
Therefore, I force myself out of bed most mornings early for an hour-long walk, but usually not too early because it’s a tiny bit scary in the complete dark before sunrise, despite a safe neighborhood–there have been coyote and wild hog sightings nearby (the latter being decidedly more frightening than the former from the stories I’ve heard). I rise for the exercise, but mostly for the time I need so desperately with my God.
I spend time freely worshiping and thanking God for His many blessings, I confess my wrongs while asking for His Holy Spirit’s help in the areas where I’ve fallen, and I ask Him for help for any other pressing issues in my life. I also bring my prayer cards with me–each card devoted to someone I want to lift up regularly, so I don’t forget any person or request. I never could have done that while running in the Texas heat and humidity without soaking the cards.
On top of that, recently God convicted me to start memorizing Scripture again. See Malinda Fugate’s guest post here for a glimpse of that story. Writing the verses on 3×5 cards and bringing them with me on my walks has given me the time I needed to make progress in that area.
I write all this because perhaps someone reading this post could try it for him or herself and find the joy in prayer walks like I have.
I also write because maybe someone else has been praying for something for a long time with no perceivable yes answer coming. Maybe God’s assent is still on the way, but maybe He’s saying no because He has something better in mind for you.
After all, before I gave up asking God to heal me, I prayed hard, sometimes with tears, that He would allow me to run again. I saw a physical therapist and tried to do the exercises prescribed. Running has been such a huge part of my life for so many years that it was hard to lose it, even though He had already taught me much through taking it away before. I’m at a point where I’m more a daughter of God than a runner, but I still love it.
However, my God knows what He’s doing and has the power to get it done–healing or no healing: “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:5).
Most of all, my God is One who says to His beloved people, ” ‘For I know the plans that I have for you…plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’ ” (Jer. 29:11). These words were not written directly to us, but they are echoed in the familiar verse: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). This good might not be the good I had planned, but it is GOOD nonetheless.
It’s possible that someday I will be able to start running again and still maintain a sweet, close time with my Jesus in some other way–I do miss running for other reasons. However, for now, I am content with the surprise blessing God gave me through His “no” to my healing.
Tori Kelly CD Giveaway
Last Saturday, I wrote a review and held a giveaway for Tori Kelly’s new Christian cd, and the winner was Kitty Minaj! Kitty, be sure to contact me at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com with your address so I can have your new cd sent to you. If I don’t hear from you by Saturday, September 29, I will choose a new winner. Thank you so much for all who entered my drawing!