Lazarus died twice.
We’re all familiar with the first time—when Jesus showed up and triumphed over death—and I think it’s a story worth revisiting time and time again. Any time a guy rises from the dead, it’s worth at least taking note. (Especially when it involves Jesus.)
But not until recently—thanks to my ever-reflective husband— did I consider that Lazarus died again. I wonder if he was scared about it: knowing that this time, there would be no coming back. Or was he less afraid?
And then think about all of those people Jesus healed, the ones who probably got sick later in their lives. What did they think about illness, after once being healed? Did their perspective change?
Jesus came to heal the broken. He had compassion on the demon-possessed—the mentally tormented. He loved the lepers. He restored the blind. But throughout his healing, he must’ve known that those people would fall sick again. They, like everyone else in the world, would die. So, in a way, healing wasn’t the point. It was part of the point, I know, but it wasn’t the end-all. Jesus had a bigger plan in mind.
I’ve often prayed for healing. I’ve pleaded with God to take away mental illness, begging for what I perceive to be justice in my life. I’ve pleaded with God to heal my sister of her chronic migraines, or at least that her pain would lessen.
I tend to think that if healing came, it would solve everything. Life would be perfect, wouldn’t it? If only I was free from mental illness…then I’d be happy.
What would happen if I viewed illness in God’s greater plan? If I at least considered that any potential healing would not be the “point” of my life?
I believe that one day, all tears will be wiped away. One day, after my final breaths, I will find complete restoration in Jesus.
Until then, I will keep praying for healing. But maybe I’ll think about it a little differently, maybe re-think the purpose of what it would mean.