By Ernest O'Neill

Does God Heal Without Removing the Symptoms?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

The third thing loved ones is found there in Second Corinthians 12:7. It's Paul telling of his own experience who was used to heal many people. He was bitten by a serpent and instead of being poisoned to death was healed. He writes this in Second Corinthians 12:7-10.

"And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I sought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

It was some kind of disease of the eyes. It wasn't some sin. He wouldn't glory in sin and call it a weakness. It was some disease of the eyes that the great healer himself had prayed about and asked God to heal him. God didn't remove the symptoms but you see what he said, "My strength is made perfect in your weakness. Even if as you have the weakness of the physical symptoms in your body, My strength, the strength by which I raised Jesus from the dead, will give you strength and life to carry on as if you had no sickness."

St God heals that way at times and the evidence is Paul's own life. Sometimes God will not remove the symptoms. He will not, in that sense, "heal completely" as we say. But He will give strength and life to carry on despite the symptoms and despite all the evidence that there are nails in the hands and a sword in the side. The person is able to carry on as if there was no sickness in their body.

So, of course, without any question, the dear girl (Susan) was to die three or four years ago. Four years ago she had the lymph glands removed under her arm and then breast cancer came. Four years ago they gave her one year to live. She should have died three years ago when little Rachael was three and Peter was one year of age. Undoubtedly she should have died three years ago.

Any of us who read Susan's letters, harrowing letters, remember how the metastasis had spread all throughout her body so that she'd be sitting with Peter on her lap and he would poke his elbow into her ribs and break them. You know the story as we read it here Sunday by Sunday and put her letters into the bulletin. The poor girl had almost no body left.

Her body was broken up in every way. When I went to see her, she was so small compared with the girl that I had known. She had lost height. The whole body had taken such a beating and yet God had obviously given her superhuman life and energy to carry on. She was able to bring the children through those first years of school. She was also able to help Serge, (who was also a doctor), to get the church started in Switzerland.

So at times, God will heal by giving strength, supernatural strength to live despite the symptoms of sickness in your body.