Love Came Down

In a seat down near the front of the auditorium with my friend Chad next to me, sitting in his wheelchair, a paraplegic due to the complications of spina bifida, I had called him the day before and asked if he would like to come to this healing conference. I know Chad well enough to invite him to a service like this, he welcomes it when people pray for his healing. The guest speaker was a man, who has traveled all around the world doing healing conferences. Another young boy sat in a wheelchair next to Chad, I overheard his parents say to someone that he had a disease, the seriousness of it given away by the fact that he didn’t move from the wheelchair. Paraplegics, quadriplegics, a woman who had suffered a stroke, a man with cerebral palsy, all sat in wheelchairs surrounding me.

“Repeat after me, and the Holy Spirit will come upon you and heal you:  Jesus, I believe, help me in my unbelief!” Said the man on stage.

“Jesus, I believe, help me in my unbelief!” People were yelling at the top of their voices.

“How many people who had issues with their eyes can now see better? How many people have experienced a healing?” Applause, yells, arms waving above their heads, celebration broke out throughout the auditorium, whoops and hollers went up in the rows of chairs near us, and above us in the balconies.

The people in wheelchairs sat still, gently clapping, giving praise for the celebration of others but my heart became so heavily burdened for these people that I sat amongst, for the ones who would go away from this service feeling defeated. Had they come, hoping this would be their day, this would be the moment of their healing? Would some believe that they didn’t have enough faith, or that they weren’t good enough or that God doesn’t love them enough or some other lie that the enemy would love to see them take into the very depths of their soul?

“The woman with the issue of bleeding for 12 years just wanted to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. Jesus said that it was her faith that healed her. Those of you who still need healing, stand and raise your right arm, reach out in faith and Jesus will heal you, that’s the kind of faith you need to have.”

God, in his incredible love for us, sent his son to die and bring us new life. Could some actually believe that people who live with disability here on this earth will one day stand before their Heavenly Father and he will say to them, “Well, I had all these wonderful plans for you but you just did not have enough faith to get yourself out of that wheelchair.”

How could we expect that a young boy, perhaps 10 or 12 to have enough faith to be healed of his illness? I prayed that his parents would not ever believe that they could somehow be at fault. Could our loving God really say to anyone, “I’m sorry that your son was so sick for so long,” or, “I’m sorry that your child died, but if you had more faith…”

What about Doug, sitting in front of me, deprived of oxygen during his birth resulting in severe cerebral palsy, the inability to speak, he’s supposed to have enough faith for his own healing? Can we even find a way to explain that concept to him so that he can fully grasp it?

Were some believing that they weren’t praying the right prayers? Were they in search of the right man, the right place, the right posture that would somehow be conducive to their healing?

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God CAN heal permanent disabilities.  So, why is it that he seems many times not to?  Doesn’t the Creator of our universe have complete control over all that happens in our lives? Could it be that he allows certain circumstances to touch us which brings spiritual change and deepens our faith as well as the faith of others? Aren’t his plans to prosper us, not to harm us?

Job, while pleading his innocence before God and his accusers says, “I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.” He goes on to declare his innocence over and over again. His heart has not wondered away from God, he is not a lair or abusive to his servants, there is no understandable reason for these trials that he is going through and he declares before God his righteousness.

God responds to Job, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” God challenges Job, “Where does the light come from and where does the darkness go? Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Have you given the horse its strength? Are you the one who makes the hawk soar? Do  you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic but do you have the answers?”

Job, receiving God’s rebuke answers, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

The wisdom and sovereignty of God are not something that man in his humanness can fathom. His thoughts are not our thoughts, his ways are high above our ways. He is God and as Job found out, it was through his experiencing tragedy and hardship that he came to see God as God.

To believe that the enemy can manipulate and control our circumstances with things that are only meant to harm us, things that cannot be used for our good and for God’s glory is contrary to the promises found in   Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” and in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” and Psalm 84;11, “For the LORD God is a sun and a shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly,” and Matt. 7:11 as well as Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I’ve had spontaneous miscarriages, 5 of them. An ovum and a sperm unite to form an embryo but for some reason, the union is not successful, the embryo incapable of growing and thriving and the pregnancy ends in miscarriage during the first 20 weeks. It happens frequently with many women never knowing that they are pregnant. Nine months it takes for a baby to grow and form in the womb, slowly changing, becoming stronger, kept safe, receiving nutrients nurtured and cared for, increasing in the ability to survivie outside of this protected and controlled environment, mother and father becoming attached to this life months before it is to be brought into this world. Miraculous life. It is nothing short of miraculous.

So, why would God allow a baby to form in the womb with Down Syndrome or missing an arm or having a damaged spinal cord? Why would He allow anyone to be in a car accident, breaking their back, becoming a paraplegic, not able to ever walk again? Why would God ever allow these things to touch our world if his plans are to prosper us and not to harm us?

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Is that not true for each of us and how we were formed in the womb? Are we to be bold enough to make the judgment that this could be true of everyone BUT those with disabilities?

“For by Him all things were created,” it says in Colossians 1:15-16, “things in haven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him.” Are we to add, “Unless of course, you have a disability?”

Psalm 139:13-16, For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. This is not true if you were born with a disability?

Could it be that our God in his sovereignty, knows that it is in our weakness, in our dependence, that we become strong in his power, in his spirit, in his presence in our lives? Our God, all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, Creator of the universe, our God promises to work ALL things together for good, all things.

What if we were to ask the men and women and children who have come to know Jesus as their Savior through people like Joni Eareckson Tada, a woman who has spent over 40 years in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down or Nick Vujicic, born without arms and legs, how would they would feel if Joni and Nick had received healing in those early days when they not only prayed for, but begged God for it?  What if their ministries had never developed? What if Joni and Nick had never had the opportunity to go into foreign lands with wheelchairs and Bibles to save the lost, the forgotten, the lonely, or run camps to refresh and restore families?  What if they had never gone into Muslim prisons and countries to share salvation to the millions, or to High School campuses and churches to give hope to teenagers as well as adults who are filled with despair?

What would these people say if God healed every time we asked?

Has God possibly designed us so that as we love and care for the body of Christ, as we are instructed to in 1 Corinthians 12, then we become less “self” oriented and more “others” oriented?  Is God trying to teach us that because of the people in our lives who have physical, mental, or emotional needs that we must meet, that the greatest fulfillment in this life is actually in becoming more like Jesus through becoming a servant?

If it were about the amount of faith or saying the right prayers in order to receive our healing, then why is it that even those who have the gift of healing, are themselves impacted by sickness, cancer, disease, bad knees, or sprained ankles? Kathryn Kuhlman, the great faith healer of the 60’s and 70’s, my own mother receiving a healing of a debilitating lower back condition during one of her services, died during open heart surgery at the age of 69. Many of these great teachers have family members with cerebral palsy, down syndrome, hearing impairments, visual impairments, spina bifida, etc.

Books with formulas or rituals with the promise of favorable outcome will continue to be written for as long as we live on this earth because in our human condition, we desire to alleviate all suffering for our temporal well being.  But if we reduced God to a formula, He would become more of a machine that produces what we want when we push the right buttons, in the right sequence, in the right order. We would latch onto that formula or even the author of the right book and God would lose his ability to control and give it to us, a creature with short sighted goals, low tolerance for pain, and the desire for immediate, self gratification.  I would pray to alleviate my suffering regardless of how it would affect you and my God would be reduced to serving me, rather than the other way around.

We desire the quick fix. We often equate love with the removal of suffering, that’s why God’s act of taking on the physical form of a man and choosing to be beaten and tortured and made a spectacle of on a cross in order to die for our sins and give us eternal life, is beyond what our human mind can fathom. That’s why so many people missed Him as they looked for their King to be sitting on a throne.

While at the same time, Jesus death on the cross is the very thing that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, the extent of our God’s love for us. Therefore, would God want anything other than that which is for our very best?  Matthew 7:11 says it all, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

The interesting thing about this experience at the conference was that before it all got underway, I bought the latest CD from Brian Johnson, one of my favorite worshipers.  The next morning, I got into my car to drive to our first planning meeting for our Joni and Friends Family Retreats  which are for families touched by disability, coming up in a few months.  I popped the CD into my car stereo and the first song came on. I ended up repeating it over and over again, rejoicing in the truth of the words.

Whether you sit in a wheelchair, have a syndrome, been affected by the lack of oxygen to your brain or drive a BMW, it is the finished work of Jesus Christ that makes us whole and complete here and now. Our circumstances change daily, if we are healed of something one day, it will be more than likely, we will need healing of something else another day so we must rely on the fact that God’s work has been completed within us no matter what happens within our temporal bodies, our spirit has been made whole, there is nothing else that we must do in order to gain his love or receive his goodness. The greatest miracle that God has given to each and every one of us, the one that he has made available and has promised to ALL who are willing to receive it, without exception, is the one that was given through the death of his Son on the cross.

Love Came Down

By Brian Johnson

If my heart is overwhelmed

And I cannot hear your voice

I’ll hold on to what is true

Though I cannot see

If the storms of life they come

And the road ahead gets steep

I will lift these hands in faith

I will believe

I remind myself of all that you’ve done

And the life I have because of your son

Love came down and rescued me

Love came down and set me free

I am yours, I am forever yours

Mountain high or valley low

I sing out remind my soul

I am yours, I am forever yours

When my heart is filled with hope

And every promise comes my way

When I feel your hands of grace

Rest upon me

Staying desperate for you God

Staying humbled at your feet

I will lift these hands and praise

I will believe

I am yours, I am yours

All my days, I am yours

To find out more about Brian and Jen Johnson, go to:


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  1. Wow, so true.

    We have to be willing to accept in true abandoned faith that God has chosen this weakness to show His strength.

    Lord, heal my heart. Let me see people through Your eyes with Your love.

  2. Kara you put thoughts into words really good. Thank you For declaring the goodness of God faithfully! I appreciate you. MaryB~

  3. Wow Kara – How profound! I love your insight and perspective. Thank you for such revelation. Bless the Lord He knows what’s best for each of us…When we are weak, HE makes us strong. AMEN! Love you, Karen

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