“Bless the LORD,” invites the Psalmist, “who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:1-3). How grateful I am for God’s healing at times in my own life — notably after several years of troublesome respiratory disease that included asthma, sinus polyps and constant coughing. I give thanks every day for the divine mercy given, in that case, through a skilled surgeon who himself acknowledges God’s hand in the result. I ask God daily to heal, to remit or even to retard what my neurologist has diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, primarily so I can teach, preach and write as many years as possible. I also pray every day for healings for loved ones, friends, associates and acquaintances. I believe in healing. Better said, I believe in God who heals.
Yet all healing now is temporary. All those whom God heals now will finally die. This mortal life begins and ends. It does not last forever. What we call “healing” is but a temporary restoration of wellness. At best, it is only a brief extension of earthly life. The ultimate healing comes in the resurrection, when we will exchange this mortal body for one that never dies. Strength will replace weakness then, glory will supplant dishonor, the perishable will become imperishable. That will suit us for eternal life in its fullness — life that will never end; life unmarred by evil, pain, separation or death; life in God’s company in a perfect society in new heavens and earth.
Compared to that, the most wondrous and dramatic healings now pale into insignificance. When that time comes, we will scarcely remember the healings of today. Nor, when that time comes, will we care any longer about the healings that did not occur today. Something far better will occupy our thoughts then. The disappointments of earth will all fade into distant darkness. Nevertheless, for now we ask. When God heals, we give him praise. When he does not, we remember the big picture, We maintain our perspective, We recall that everything now is temporary. The final word has not yet been spoken. The last chapter still waits to unfold. The eternal God has promised and he will faithfully perform. Bless the LORD, who heals all our diseases — sometimes now, for a brief while, but some day totally and forever!