Over at the Biblical Seminary faculty blog, I posted this entry about the matter of chronic pain for the Christian and ended with a few brief thoughts as to what faith looks like when you suffer with a chronic condition.
You will note that in the post I do not mention anything about healing. I resisted that discussion for the time being (good as it is) because I think it so often adds to the sufferer’s experience of pain (e.g., “now I carry the extra burden of wondering why I haven’t been healed and possibly your judgement that something is wrong with my faith”) AND minimizes the current experience of pain.
On Friday, Joni Eareckson Tada spoke about the fact that she still is stopped by people who tell her they pray she will get up out of her wheelchair and walk. I imagine she is polite but her answer was that she would not want that prayer answered now. She can save walking for heaven. Today, she has a more important job to do, and her paralysis is being used by God to refine herself and redeem others.