O Lord, Heal Me

Psalm 103 proclaims the benefits of a relationship with God.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—

Who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases. (Psalm 103.2-3)

How do we approach God when we realize that he has not healed “all our diseases” and that we are facing a chronic illness?

How do parents relate to God, as they sit beside a terminally ill child’s hospital bed?

What does someone with rheumatoid arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease say to God as their bodies continue a downward spiral?

There are no easy answers to problems like these. A short blog article may raise as many questions as answers.

Value of the Psalms

Jürgen Moltmann was a German fighter pilot, who was shot down over England during World War II. In a POW camp, he was given a Bible that contained the New Testament and Psalms.

He was steeped in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche but found Nietzsche’s philosophy worthless to dispel the despair of a POW camp.

On the other hand, the Psalms gave him hope and helped him experience a personal relationship with God. After the war, Moltmann became a theologian and is still alive at age 96.

The Psalms provide a vocabulary to better speak to God and give permission to tell God about our plight.

When we read that God “heals all your diseases,” but disease threatens your life or that of a loved one, the Psalms help us tell God how we feel.

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror. (Psalm 6.1-2)

Verse 1 implies that God may be angry over something we have done wrong. Whether spoken or not, “What have I done to deserve this?” is a frequent thought that accompanies a debilitating illness.

Verse 4 asks for grace, which is God’s unmerited favor for people.

Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. (Psalm 6.4)

Even if we think God is punishing us for something we have done, we can appeal to him for healing that is rooted in his grace.

Honest Dialogue

This passage teaches us to speak honestly with God. He knows our thoughts, and nothing should keep us from telling him exactly how we feel about what is taking place in our lives.

My soul also is struck with terror,
while you, O Lord—how long? (Psalm 6.3)

The Psalms speak of “waiting for the Lord.” The person who waits for the Lord has God as the “Plan A” of their life. They only have “Plan A,” and don’t have a “Plan B” if God doesn’t act.

While we are waiting on God’s “Plan A” to materialize we are free to ask him, “How long?”

There is no easy answer for people who are living through terrible suffering. When I visit with them, I don’t attempt to provide any answers.

Suffering people need our support, but don’t need advice. It is impossible for advice to not seem trite and hollow.

Even though I am silent, the Psalms are not. They teach us to cry out to God.

I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.

My eyes waste away because of grief;
they grow weak because of all my foes. (Psalm 6.6-7)

A Turning Point

As we pray, we look for a turning point in our situation.

The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer. (Psalm 6.9)

We praise God for every answer to prayer that allows us to proclaim,

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
Who heals all your diseases. (Psalm 103.2-3)

When God doesn’t answer our prayers the way wish, let’s remember one thing.

When God seems silent during our time of trouble, let’s remember the words of Dr. James Mays.

He wrote in his commentary on the Psalms, “It would be an unbiblical religion to see meaning for faith only in positive experiences that can be interpreted as the blessing and favor of God.”

No YouTube Video Today

I am in California visiting Toni’s family. We don’t have adequate WiFi and are not able to upload videos.

Videos with Rudy Ross will return next week.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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