What Happens When the Healing Doesn’t Come?
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!
0 thoughts on “What Happens When the Healing Doesn’t Come?”
Thank you for sharing this, Heather! I can relate 100%, and understand the tension between praying for healing and submitting to the reality of injury and openness to how God wants to use and redeem it. I’ve battled Achilles issues for quite a few years and strained my calf back in June. Having been teamates in college, we both understand how deep our love of running is. I couldn’t agree more about the difference in walking and running when it comes to prayer. I’m eager to start the notecards as it will help me be more intentional, and memorising scripture again would be so good for me. I’m not sure why I stopped doing that (with my kids too).
Thank you for this honest, vulnerable post. It’s what I needed this morning before heading out for my quiet walk before a busy day of teaching my kids and coaching soccer.
Sending you love and prayers from Washington State!
Rachel, it’s so good to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear that you’re injured, too, although I hope you will get some good time with God as you walk with Him!
Thank you for the perspective! We so very much like to give God a script and expect Him to follow our instructions….. yet, His ways are better, His ways are higher. If only we could remember that consistently….
I agree. I often have it all figured out and don’t understand why He didn’t decide to do it the way I had planned it all out! I’m glad He knows what He’s doing.
Heather, I couldn’t help but chuckle when you described the path your prayers take sometimes when you run – in mid sentence, zoning out and drifting off to another thought! I can so easily do the same thing during my prayer-walks in the morning! Mine sometimes sound like this, “God, please help Jessica do her best on the test she has today after lunch because she …. did I take out that meat to thaw for dinner?” Or something along those lines! I like feeling like God is walking alongside me, so I hope it’s more like a conversation and I sometimes even feel like God is the one that reminded me, “yes, indeed, you took out the meat, my child, now let’s get back to our conversation.” I must admit that it’s a bit comforting knowing others do the same, but it’s definitely something I try to work on, to focus completely on God and nothing else!
Haha! Yes, I’ve done it with walking, too, but not nearly as much as with running, when my mind goes completely blank for chunks of time. My prayer cards when I’m walking keep me focused!
Spending time with God is essential, and so we must be intentional in our priorities. Walking in the woods sounds like beautiful quiet time!
I agree, and it really is a beautiful time!
Thanks for sharing, Heather. Such a great testimony of how God uses our misfortunes for our ultimate good and His glory. God is good – all the time!
Yes, He is!
Heather, I love my quiet time with nature. I used to be a runner, too, but with age, I’ve had to resort to walking. Like you. I’ve found that it is easier to concentrate on prayer and scripture when walking instead of running. Perhaps, because everything hurts when I run and I’m much to distracted by that! You are right–God has a plan for us and it’s comforting to know that we each have our own special and unique plan orchestrated by God as His child. He loves us all collectively, but individually as well. That’s just awesome!
It certainly is easier to concentrate when walking! I’m thankful for His love!
As a retired engineer, I’ve often suggested to God that I send Him a three-color diagram as to why my idea is obviously the best. I know He smiles at my foolishness, sometimes.
Now that I’m retired, I get us “early” to walk my dog, Ruby. I love that time of prayer, even though my mind skips around a lot, too. Recently, I began to pray for the neighbors as I walk by their houses. That gives me such peace.
I pray for my neighbors some, too! I also pray for the “for sale” houses, that God will bring just the right people to that house—that it will be a blessing to them.
So good to be reminded of this to keep things in perspective! It’s easy to get caught up in wanting hard things to be different. Thank you for sharing this encouragement!
Thank you for the comment!
“This good might not be the good I had planned, but it is GOOD nonetheless.”–yes, I have been there. And what a beautiful gift it is when we are able to see the good. Thanks for sharing your journey.
It is a beautiful gift! He didn’t have to reveal any of the reasons!
I had to quit running in February because of arthritis in my knee. I still mourn it every day, and I still hope to return to it. The absence of running has affected every other area of my life. I’m sure you can relate. Thank you for pushing me toward seeing the good in it.
I’m sorry to hear about your injury. It’s truly hard to deal with when you love running. Walking just isn’t the same. I still hope to run again someday, too, and I hope you can, too! In the meantime, I do hope God can show you some good in the injury.
Thanks, Heather. I still identify myself as a runner. You probably do too.