Last night while I was giving Abigail her nebulizer treatment before bed she asked me to read her 'Jehuy.' So I flipped through her children's book with lots of Bible stories in it and stopped at random on the story from John 9, where Jesus heals a man who was born blind.
I read through the story and then went on to a second story from Acts 3 where Peter heals a man who was lame. I could feel my brain start to spin in all sorts of directions so I finished getting Abigail to bed and then came down and read both stories from the Bible. I took some time to really think about both of them, and reflect on how they made me feel.
First of all, it was interesting to me that on the day before Abigail's eye doctor appointment the place that I happened to open to was the story of a blind man. It is probably the first NF appointment that we have ever had where I haven't been an anxious mess before hand. It seemed divinely appointed.
But my bigger thought was how something about stories of healing like this make me cringe a little. I know why, and will explain it a little more in a few minutes. The other thoughts I had were a little more specific to each story.
First of all the story in which Jesus heals the blind man, it is immediately mentioned that the boy was born blind to bring glory to God. It tells us that his parent's didn't sin, nor did he sin, to cause the blindness. God had the intentions of taking one man's suffering and using it so that the blind man would be a testimony to the healing abilities of our God.
Before Abigail was born God gave us her name. It means 'father's joy' and I specifically remember praying at some point, and God telling me that Abigail would be His joy. For this reason, with all that Abigail has gone through, and will go through, I continue to feel a strong impression that it will be used for the glory of God. I think that her little life has already touched more people and reached far beyond my wildest imagination.
The second story was one I remember having a conversation about at some point in a small group. Someone in the group pointed out that the gate they mentioned this man sitting by (the gate called beautiful) was one Jesus would have entered numerous times to go to and from the temple. And since the story states that this man was there everyday, it can likely be assumed that Jesus had walked passed this man numerous times and not healed him.
The next part strikes me as interesting as well. The man isn't sitting there asking to be healed. He is only asking for money. Think about what you do when you see someone panhandling. Do you glance away. Do you throw some money in their dish? Most importantly have you ever given them dignity by simply looking them in the eyes? Peter does just that, and when he does he sees the man's true need, and it isn't the money he is asking for.
I know lots of people who feel like Jesus has walked by them unnoticing; choosing not to heal, not to bring children, not to mend relationships. And I can attest to the fact that I have felt that way too. But I think even when it feels like Jesus has walked passed, that it's possible He has someone else lined up to do something amazing in our lives through Him.
Now here's why the stories make me cringe. I have talked before about healing, and specifically that God has moved in mighty ways in my little girl's body. For those of you who weren't following back then, a brief recap: Abigail wasn't using her legs at nine months, we prayed for healing, and she began using them. Knowing now that she has a tumor in her leg, and that it is congenital (there when she was born) we can look back and realize that God did something amazing.
But for whatever reason God has not healed her of NF. I'm okay with that. Truly. I simply cringe because of the number of people who have said to us that we need to 'claim' healing for Abigail, or that her lack of healing is a result of our lack of faith.
I personally have yet to find where it says that Jesus only heals people who claim healing. None of the stories I read in the Bible about healing have someone yelling, 'I claim that healing for me' (or my daughter). I also find it hard to believe that God's ability to 'heal' my daughter rest on my faith.
First of all, God says it only takes faith like a mustard seed to move mountains. I'm pretty sure that my faith is at least the size of a mustard seed. Secondly, if anything, for anyone else, rest on my faith (instead of God's omnipotence) then we are all in trouble.
I don't believe her birth mother caused her NF. I don't believe Jason or I caused it, and I definitely don't believe Abigail caused it. I believe God has taken what was meant for harm , and is using it for His glory!
And to end it all, our appointment today was phenomenal. Her optic nerves are clear (no tumors) and her eyesight has improved slightly. She will still wear glasses, but I can't think of how the appointment possibly could have gone better. So for that, we will be thankful, and walk through everything else as it comes our way.
(Abigail a year ago when she first got her glasses)
Walking, and leaping, and praising God,