Does God revoke healings in order to teach lessons?

comments 10
the post-God side

A few years ago, my wrists caused me a lot of pain.  Typing and playing piano were the culprits, but it spread to sharp pain even in simple daily activities like cleaning or driving.  I had to wear wrist guards/braces and ice packs, even during my college classes which was at least moderately embarrassing.

art-painting-285919_1920In early 2011, I was experiencing one of these bouts of pain at my pastor’s house and my pastor’s wife decided to pray for me.  “God can heal you!” she said.  So she held my wrists, said a simple prayer asking for healing, and immediately I felt warmth pour over my wrists and the pain ceased.  I’ve never had to wear wrist guards since then, and even packed them away with all our junk when we moved overseas.  It was a testimony of God’s goodness in my life.

Until last night.  In the middle of watching a movie, completely out of the blue, “Ooooow!” I exclaimed.  “My wrist reeeeeally hurts,” I told Silver.  From the best of my knowledge, I did nothing to damage it.  The pain arose seemingly from nowhere.  And it only grew to the point that I had to keep my wrist nearly completely stationary, an impossible task with a 9 month old nearby.  By the time my fingers started tingling like I was losing feeling, Silver left to the nearest late-night pharmacy and bought me a wrist guard.  I’ve been wearing it for 12 hours now.  The pain is still sharp, but it keeps my wrist stationary enough to be able to pull off typing this post with my fingers.

Despite my unbelief in spiritual things, there’s still this fearful doubting I experience from time to time.  And the thought is crossing my mind: Could God have done this to teach me a lesson, to attempt to prove to me he exists and that he’s in control, to show me I’m in a dangerous place?

There are a lot of things wrong with those questions, including the fact that I don’t think belief is a choice.  But it still crosses my mind.

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The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.

10 Comments

  1. Smiling. You do have a young baby you are carrying around, lifting in and out of high-chairs, car seats, shifting you body from here to there and back again, changing, pushing on a swing, getting down on your hands and knees on the floor to play etc. Some wear and tear going on there. My tendinitis was at it’s worse after the birth of our second child. I was 29. Former piano player too. 🙂

    I understand. I get it, the God is punishing or correcting or disciplining or threatening stuff. I get it. But when I think of you, of me, of many others . . . why would God (if there is one) ever work in this fashion? On the other hand, I think the stress of thinking this way is inflammatory to our bodies and our minds. I don’t ask why we hurt. I ask, ‘Why not?’

    I think you aren’t alone with your questions. I think they are to be expected though.

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    • Haha, thank you for giving me some perspective 🙂 I still have bits of pain every now and then, but it has cleared up immensely! Do you still have wrist pain? What about playing piano? I miss playing so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just call me Ms. Perspective. 😉

        I have Fibromyalgia. I’ve got pain. I’ve pretty much struggled with chronic pain since my 20’s. I’m now in my 50’s. I have tiny wrists that have always ached. I was an athlete in my younger years. Played competitive volleyball into my 20’s. Lots of wear and tear on this body. 🙂

        I use to play the piano (classical) to accompany our children (both musicians.) But for me, piano was about my faith. It started with learning hymns at the side of grandma and my piano teacher was the church organist. As a young girl I was the Sunday School pianist and our elementary school pianist. Later I would accompany a quartet who periodically sang at church. Mostly, the piano for me was my place of meditation and often frustration. The hymn “Revive Us Again” being my favourite when I was at my wits end with motherhood. :mrgreen:

        When I left the faith I simply could not sit and play hymns anymore. I was traumatically triggered by them. All these years later I might be able to sit and just look at them as notes on a page that make pretty sounds and leave the words and emotions behind but the piano sits here only to be a display of wedding photos and grand babies with the odd figurine. I can still play all my scales, chords, and arpeggios in my mind though. 🙂

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        • I hear you. Piano was SUCH a spiritual/religious outlet for me. I always believed it was one of the deep ways that God and I communicated. It’s strange to try to play now, because I still don’t think I’ve quite finished mourning it.

          I’m sorry to hear about your chronic pain now 😦 What do you think of essential oils?

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  2. Stress can be a factor in our physical reactions. When your pastor’s wife prayed over you, it might have been that the expectation of healing helped you relax, and so helped ease your pain the last time this happened. Right now you are dealing with a 9-month-old, and the stress of deconverting, and the stress your parents have been dumping on you. Could this make an old case of tendinitis flare back up? I’d think so.

    Consider that if there’s a god, he’s ignoring the prayers of the parents of children with cancer, and famine victims, and countless others, no matter how fervently they pray. Would such a god, who’s never bothered to communicate in a clear way with humanity, bother to send you tendinitis and expect you to correctly interpret such a sign as a warning against asking questions? Whereas, if there’s no god, bad things just happen and it’s up to us to help each other. And stress can cause muscle tension, which can cause or aggravate pain. Wrist braces are far better than prayer. Have you had a doctor look at you for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You bring up great points. And so true! This is my problem with Christiantiy (or God at all) — to care so much about small things for the rich, but not care about the masses in poverty, with disease, facing turmoil, rape, etc.etc.

      I went to a doctor once years ago. Things have cleared up for me recently though — I don’t have the sharp pain anymore 🙂

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  3. I found it hard to find the right words for this. When my husband was sick in hospital, he confessed to me that a part of him wondered if an old friend was deliberately making him sick. He had enough clarity to understand that it didn’t make sense, but this old friend had left him feeling so betrayed and hurt. They had both believed in will magic. That willing something enough could make it happen.

    He was in a lot of pain and on a good deal of medicine, but I know that no matter how rational he was, there was always a part of him that couldn’t let go of magic. I’m ashamed to say that he was usually embarrassed to admit it, but glad he confided with me in his fears.

    The truth is that I, a born and raised rationalist atheist, sometimes wonder about such things myself. It’s natural to want to attribute bad things to some unseen power. It’s scary too, but that’s how the mind works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that it’s natural to want to attribute things that don’t seem fair to an unseen power. “Being born and raised a rational atheist” — that fascinates me so much. I have so many questions for you because my experience was worlds apart different!!

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