Well meaning people often ask me whether i have asked God for healing from my allergies. Most ask, but some condemn me assuming that I haven’t asked as else I would be healed. On one hand I get irritated with their assumptions and on the other hand I feel sorry for their ignorance or perhaps even their ‘selfish’ ways so to speak.
Yes, I have asked God for healing but with a surrendered attitude as always, “not my will but Yours be done”. He can heal – it is no doubt within His capacity and capability. However, I don’t want an ‘ideal’ life that is for my selfish comfort if that isn’t in accordance to the purpose God has ordained for allowing me to have allergies – perhaps just for a time and a season, perhaps always.
Allergies are not the most fun things to deal with – endless sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose, watery eyes, sinuses and if not taken care of it results in asthma. As far as I’m concerned, my allergies are symptoms that alert me that I have exposed myself to or taken in products that my body doesn’t agree with. I can’t eat or drink products that are high in acid. My throat begins to get scratchy. Sri Lankan black pepper makes my tongue smart (I’m assuming its because the pepper corns here are rough unlike the smooth ones in the West). Likewise with processed foods.
We have adapted so many unnatural ways (ways that God didn’t intend for us) and we expect or even demand God to heal us from the consequences of our choices. Pesticides with all sorts of chemicals to enhance crops, waxes and ‘permitted’ colourings to make fruit appealing, hormone induced meats, MSG added processed food for longer shelf lives etc etc. Yes, it’s good to use technology and sciences. It isn’t an issue for many people. However, if it isn’t agreeing with my body, I take it that God doesn’t want me to consume those particular products that trigger allergies as far as possible.
We can view pain and other symptoms as BAD or negative… or we can look at it from a positive angle and say, “hey, I’m blessed to know that my body doesn’t agree with these things… Let me avoid them and be healthy”.
I think of Paul who had a ‘thorn in the flesh’. It is indeed possible that it was a physical condition. One of my Bible college lecturers had gone with his family to visit these places of the Bible. A girl had fallen into a thorn bush. They had pulled out the thorns. However there was lingering pain in one particular spot. Upon return to the USA, and getting an x-ray done, a thorn was found deep inside the flesh, not visible to the eye from the outside. Yes, the Bible does record it as a ‘messenger of Satan to torment him’. We also know that thorns came to earth as a result of the fall. Whether it be a physical condition or a spiritual issue, God did not heal him from it.
Paul makes it clear that it was to keep him from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations. NLT words it as “To keep me from getting puffed up… to keep me from becoming proud.” Paul continues to write, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it way. Each time He said, “My gracious favour is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT).
We are so self centred.. we only think of ourselves, our comforts, our health etc… It’s all me, me, me…. Jesus Christ was the opposite. It wasn’t about Him, but rather His focus was on the will of the Father who sent Him. Our prayers for healing are about us and we keep nagging God so that we will be healed. Tell me, are our bodies unperishable? Can we ever have perfect health in the human flesh? I remember when I had to start wearing glasses for reading, I was devastated. My vision had literally been 20-20 for years… the only purpose for glasses was correction for my lazy left eye. (Actually I’m working without my glasses right now.. but there are times I can’t read certain things without them). Yet reality is nothing will remain perfect… We will have signs and symptoms of our bodies maturing… It will run down eventually. Nothing is permanent.
We misquote the Bible passage, “By His stripes we have been healed”. That was in context of spiritual healing, it was about the work of Jesus on the cross to take away our sins and infirmities… Yet we so blindly CLAIM that for our physical healing… how selfish and out of context. James wrote that the prayer offered in faith will heal the sick person. Did Paul not have faith? He asked God for healing THREE times. God had a purpose for allowing the messenger of Satan to torment him. In fact, through all the obstacles and oppositions, God was glorified and thus His power revealed.
So what if we have a bit of discomfort in our lives if God’s power is going to be revealed? I have major allergies to dust – every type of dust for that matter. Sri Lanka is a dusty place. Yet the fact that I have lived here for 8 years and continued to do what He leads me to do, makes me boast in my weakness… because God’s strength carries me through. The joy of the Lord is indeed my strength.