But Jesus’s perspective is different
Mark 1:34, 41; 2:11 Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases … Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and healed the leper. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” … Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away [a tormenting “thorn” in Paul’s body]. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
How can a loving father with power to heal, NOT heal his beloved daughter?
Karis took this vexing question to the Lord again and again during her life. At age 11, she chose 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 as her life verses. She referred to them often in journals when she details her intimate conversations with God. Another frequent phrase is, “Don’t ask why. Ask what for.” Her high view of God’s sovereignty, combined with her absolute trust in his love for her, led her to look constantly for what he was doing through her difficult circumstances. I came to expect this question when we were once again in crisis and on the way to the hospital: “I wonder who’s there this time who needs to see God’s love?”
I mentioned on the last blog that the conversation between Jesus and Little James in the second episode of Season 3 of The Chosen could have been lifted from Karis’s journals. Here’s my transcript. It’s not complete but most of the conversation is there, in case you want to refer back to it later.
Jesus has just instructed the twelve disciples to go out two by two in different directions, giving them the authority to heal, as they have seen him heal many people. Lame Little James asks Jesus for a conversation afterwards.
James: How can I heal others when you haven’t healed me?
Jesus: Do you want to be healed?
James: Yes. Why haven’t you?
Jesus: Because I trust you.
Jesus: Precious Little James, listen carefully. Within the Father’s will, I could heal you right now, and you would have a good story to tell.
James: That you do miracles.
Jesus: Yes. That’s a good story to tell. But there are already dozens who can tell that story, and there will be hundreds more, even thousands. But think of the story that you have if I don’t heal you. That you still praise God in spite of this [disability]. That you know how to focus on all that matters so much more than the body. That you show people you can be patient with your suffering her on earth, because you know you can spend eternity with no suffering. Not everyone can understand that. How many people do you think the Father and I trust this with? Not many.
James: But the other disciples—they’re so much more …
Jesus: Are you fast, impressive when you walk? Maybe not. But these are things the Father doesn’t care about. You are going to do more for me than most people ever dream. So many people need healing in order to believe in me … That doesn’t apply to you. And many are healed or not healed because the Father has a plan for them which may be a mystery. And we remember what Job says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.”
James joins Jesus saying: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Jesus: When you pass from this earth and you meet your Father in heaven, Isaiah promises you will leap like a deer. Your reward will be great. So hold on a little longer. And when you discover yourself finding true strength because of your weakness, and when you do great things in my name in spite of this [your lameness], the impact will last for generations. Do you understand?
James, with tears: Yes. Thank you, Master.
Jesus: A man like you healing others. Oh, what a sight! I can’t wait to hear your stories.
Jesus starts to walk away after they bless each other but turns back.
Jesus: And James, you will be healed. It’s only a matter of time.
Karis’s famous smile … on a Christmas day in the hospital