When God does not heal in order to save

ENGLISH/IDEAS I just shared a piece with my community about God as Healer but also about the times God does not heal.


‘God is a healer if only you raise your faith,’ one man retorted.

There and then, he denied the possiblity of a God who wouldn’t heal. His God was apparently greater. Greater than mine.

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In principle, I could have agreed with him. Jesus healed just about everybody but promised the non-believers, the sceptics of the day, the sign of Jonah only. That is, they would see Jesus dead and then risen on the third day only. No remorse for the wicked, in other words.

«A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.» (Matt 12:39-40)

Today we’re called to continue walking the path that Jesus set forth for us. We are called to lay our hands on the sick, (Mark 16:18) as well as preaching the Gospel towards man’s salvation. (Matt 28:19-20)

There is only one tiny bit missing. In real life, healing doesn’t always occur, and I can’t explain why. I can only explain that I am not God. Nor am I Jesus. I do what I am told, and occasionally The Holy Spirit does indeed heal. I’ve seen it several times, as well as having experienced it in my own life.

TO PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE, I would like to add that while all do not always get healed, the whole point of Jesus’ mission to this world was to save. (John 3:16-17) We must never forget the restoration He plans for His entire creation. (2Peter 3:13)

LAST RITE. ‘I donned my habit and brought the anointment oil to serve a dying man and his family with the last rite.’ Pastor Victor Skimmeland. Photo credit: Andrea N.B. Skimmeland.

Only last Friday I was called late at night by a wonderful lady in our very secular nation. Her husband was dying in the hospital.

I donned my habit and brought the anointment oil, this time armed only with James 5:14, and then rushed off the sixty kilometers to the hospital. I performed the last rite with his family present. While he in no way was in peril, spiritually speaking, the moment was important in coming to faith for all others present who were to be left behind by the father.

The moment did not result in any last-minute healing, but one man was saved for eternity, and several were indeed touched by the Spirit for their own future conversions.

The husband died only a short time after I left the room. According to his wife, with whom I spoke briefly the morning after, he rested peacefully from the moment I sat at his bedside until his death. The family was very thankful.

(According to Norwegian tradition the funeral will take place only late next week, almost two weeks after death. In that manner we are thought to be able to start grieving before having to face people. I am not sure that is the better way but it’s the way we do it here. I used to serve in Colombia and both death and funeral was the business of the whole community. It seems to me that letting go was in no way more difficult there, even though both the display of the corpse at home and the funeral itself usually took place within the next day or two.)

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