GOD STILL HEALS!
4Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains -- he hath carried them, And we -- we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. (Young's Literal Translation)
Our daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild-a boy. We couldn't be more thrilled. Being pregnant automatically draws a woman more often to the throne of God. No longer is it just her and God. Now it's her, God and the baby that He is knitting together inside her womb. God has made many precious promises concerning our little ones and pregnancy lends itself to searching out, receiving and claiming those promises.
As a young Christian, pregnant for the first time, I had not yet been deluged with all the horror stories from others about their pregnancies and deliveries. I read in God's Word that "children are a blessing" and I believed it. And I believed that they are a blessing from the moment they are conceived. Therefore, I never accepted many of the common beliefs about pregnancy, the aches and pains, the sickness, the emotional upheavals, etc. I always determined that I was going to believe that God meant what He said about children and childbirth and when I didn't experience it, I would sit down and try to figure out why. I'm not belittling those who experience those things, I just didn't base what I believed about pregnancy on the experiences of others. And God honored that in my life. It's not that I didn't ever have any of those things. In fact, I had some horrendous things I dealt with in pregnancy, but in each case they were short-lived because God did a miracle and taught me things that have become life-long principles of my faith, thus each pregnancy is a hallmark, of sorts, in the history of my Christian walk. I was praying that God would do the same for my daughter. It makes each child just that much more special.
Everything was going so well for my daughter's pregnancy. Then her stretch marks began to itch uncontrollably and nothing that we tried helped. At first we thought she had heat rash because bumps formed and began to spread all over her body. In just a few days she was covered on every part of her body from her neck to the tops of her feet. Itching.....horrible, constant, intense itching like poison ivy on steroids itching. Finally she discovered that she had a condition called PUPPP http://dermatology.about.com/cs/pregnancy/a/puppp.htm ( Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy). Unfortunately the most the medical community knows about it is that it exists. They don't know how to cure it. It's not dangerous to mother (except for her sanity) or baby. However, once you have it, you will have it until a few weeks after the baby is born. There is nothing they can do to cure it. Many mothers who have had it tell me that the itching is maddening and can push a woman close to the level of insanity--as if pregnancy doesn't already do that for some people! LOL!
But frankly, when I read the the word "plaque" was in the name, I just knew this was straight from hell itself! Something just rose up in me. (I have a tendency to get mad at the devil more than be sad by what he does and all who are mothers know this feeling! It's just not wise to mess with the cubs!) We have been redeemed, the devil has no right to put some plaque on us! Furthermore it made me very angry that the devil was trying to steal the blessing of pregnancy from my daughter. Isaiah 53 kept coming to my mind-SURELY, He has carried our sickness and our pain!
Now I fully believe that God meant everything He said in scripture and that He is perfectly capable of performing His Word. He really doesn't have to add the word "Surely". Anyone in their right mind wouldn't hear God say something and then question Him by saying "really?" So I figure that God "surely" wanted us to get this healing thing as much as we get our salvation. You see, in scripture it comes packaged together!
I don't always experience what God said in His Word is so, but I don't think that is His fault. After all God provided for every man to be saved, "it's not His will that any should perish", but the sad truth of the matter is that people plummet into hell everyday. So when the doctrine of the Bible and my experience don't line up, that's my fault. It's called doubt and unbelief. And lately God has been showing me areas of my life where doubt and unbelief are still operating. He has been asking me, "do you really believe that I meant what I said? Will you do what I instructed you and 'only believe?'" He's using little, seemingly unimportant things in my daily life but He is challenging me to step-out-of-boat-Peter kind of faith. You see, God did everything He's ever going to do for us already. It's called Calvary. IT IS FINISHED! And in Calvary everything we need pertaining to life and godliness has been provided. So really, taking hold of God's promises is not about getting something new from God, it's just about going to God and taking what has already been provided for us-it already has our name on it! I don't understand why that is so hard for me sometimes. It is a clear indicator of the strength and destructiveness of unbelief. That is why God hates it so! Lately my prayer has been "Lord, I want everything that Jesus died to give me. I don't want any of His sacrifice, I don't want one drop of his precious blood to go to waste in my life." Some might say that's too high a prayer, but at least I'm aiming for the right thing!
In our women's prayer group, we studied this passage in Isaiah. I love it when the Word of God builds tangible faith. You could just feel the faith in what God said rising up in those precious women. At the end, we anointed my daughter with oil and prayed as scripture instructs. That night, she slept all night for the first time in 10 days. I saw her the following morning and there was noticeable improvement in the appearance of her skin. The itching had somewhat subsided as well. She happened to have a dr.s apt. the next morning so I went along with her and he confirmed that she had PUPPP. She testified to the doctor of the improvement from the day before as a result of prayer. In the course of the appt., he admitted that prayer couldn't hurt although he didn't put much stock in it's results.
Within a week my daughter's skin was white and soft. Her stretch marks are now normal. She has been completely healed of PUPPP. At her next GYN appt., when asked how she was feeling she said "I feel great now that this PUPPP is gone." The doctor didn't believe that she had suffered with PUPPP because it is impossible for it to be gone. When she told him that another doctor in his building had diagnosed her condition as PUPPP, he was perplexed. I just love it when doctors have to come to grips with the fact that there is a GREATER PHYSICIAN who cares for those who ask believing based on the fact that "by His stripes we WERE healed!"
How wonderful that my daughter experienced the incredible love that God has for His children while she was pregnant with her first child. How invaluable that His healing power was displayed both in her life and the life of her child. What an incredible experience to mark the beginning of motherhood with the miracle-working power of God. God is concerned with both mother and child. God is still able and willing to heal. Blind, nonsensical-to-the-human-mind belief in his Word still moves His hand-He just can't resist. I'm sure there will be many times in the coming years that this experience will cause her to worship and believe again for whatever may come to her as a parent. It's a hallmark!
Praise God for His great love, His mighty power, and His desire and ability to heal His children. He has shown Himself strong to the doctors, the bank tellers and everyone else who knew her predicament. Jesus has received the reward of His suffering! The ransom has been paid by the stripes that He bore and my daughter has been set free. BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!