Christian author Henry W. Frost, who worked with the China Inland Mission, wrote a book on healing titled Miraculous Healing, first published in 1931. Although it was written nearly a century ago, the book is still considered by many to be an excellent resource on the topic of miraculous healing. The book not only contains detailed accounts of individuals who received healing, but it also includes accounts of others who had made all the same preparations and seemed just as worthy, but who did not receive the physical healing that they had requested.

What I find most interesting is that many, if not all, of those who were not given the physical healing testify to the fact that they received something else of great value in their spiritual lives. Sometimes it came in the way of a special experience with God’s love, or some other breakthrough in their desire for close fellowship with Him. It brings to light how God always answers a sincere, seeking soul in some way, as it is promised in His Word: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”1

For many years, I asked God for something repeatedly. And I shared my heart with Him about it several times as it seemed to pop up over and over. Why should so many others have what I longed for, yet not I? I wondered. I also shared with Him that I thought my need was not really too selfish. Couldn’t You please help with just this one thing? I would try to politely insist. Yet His reply seemed to be an ongoing silence.

Looking back, it seems to me that He had plenty that He wanted to teach me, and I had plenty that I needed to learn. God knows our hidden thoughts and all about our inner being. His concern for us is one reason He may choose not to grant certain answers to our prayers. I needed to grow to trust Him more, to be more grateful for all I did have, and to be more patient. As it says in Psalm 131, I needed to learn to calm and quiet myself, like a weaned child with its mother, happy for the closeness without the gifts.

There have been and are many saintly invalids, paralytics, disabled, shut-ins, and people who never go to a mission field, but theirs is the mission field of prayer. These same unnoticed people can experience God’s grace in an exceptional way that overrides their apparent disability, even in the face of what appears to so many to be an impossible condition to bear. Despite their circumstances, God’s love can impart to them an inner beauty that shines brightly, even out of the ashes of derailed hopes and aspirations.2

How like God to move and work among us in ways that are past finding out!3 If we could figure it all out, such as why He heals some and not others, then we could simply follow that orderly set of stipulations and then be sure to obtain the petition we desired. We would have successfully squeezed God into a box. But that will never happen.

  1. James 4:8
  2. See Isaiah 61:3.
  3. See Romans 11:33.