Sometimes I recount stories about healings that I’ve personally witnessed. I truly enjoy sharing firsthand testimonies of physical deliverance. It’s rather exciting to observe the restoration of broken bodies and the renewal of those who were once afflicted with pain. As God enables wonderful things like this to take place, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
I just heard a report this week about a woman whose debilitating brain lesion dissolved after receiving prayer. She went back to the doctor and he was confused as he noted, “Something that large doesn’t just go away.” She now has verifiable medical evidence of an inexplicable healing in her body. That type of story brings me incredible joy.
However, there are occurrences I hesitate sharing. It’s not that I want to hide things or provide the wrong impression. I’ve just found that highlighting “apparent failures” doesn’t produce faith or position anyone for breakthrough. The Bible declares that hopelessness weakens the emotions and undermines the whole body (Prov. 13:12). That is something I truly can’t afford to cultivate in my life.
This is obvious, but when healing doesn’t take place, it can be demoralizing. As I lay hands on the sick and speak words of life, I expect things to shift in their bodies. Yet, sometimes they don’t.
A couple of years ago a ministry team I was a part of prayed for an infant with a tumor on its face in Mountain View, Arkansas. We pressed in and poured out words of life. I even climbed up the edge of the bed and placed my hand on top of that ugly, unrighteous mass. However, in an hour and half of prayer, the problem was not alleviated and the next morning that innocent baby died. After many months, I can still feel the unsettling disappointment.
This isn’t an enjoyable conversation to have, but I felt led to discuss it this week. What we all want to know is “why?” If Jesus’ shed blood is currently transforming the cosmos, why do some realities seem so slow to change?
I don’t possess the fullest insight. Like all of humanity, I peer through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12). Nevertheless, one thing that has come into focus for me is the fact that transitions are messy.
We’re currently in an era where the kingdom of God has been inaugurated through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Through the Lord’s matchless strength and regenerating power, creation is coming alive.
However, that which is currently rising hasn’t reached its fullest expression. Although quite massive, the boulder that Daniel envisioned hasn’t yet become the mountain that fills the whole horizon (Dan. 2:34-45). That mustard seed that Jesus spoke of has grown exponentially, but it hasn’t yet become the massive tree that’s irresistible to the birds (Matt. 13:31-32).
Amazing things are currently transpiring, but that doesn’t mean that everything has shifted to its ultimate position. Not all opposition is out of the picture. God’s kingdom is ever-increasing, and Satan’s sphere of operation is decreasing. However, there will be disruptions in the midst of this fierce changeover.
The apostle Paul alludes to this when he declares, “For He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25-26). Until the glorious day of resurrection, ugly realities are going to have to be counteracted. In the midst of this, there will be setbacks and disappointments. The victory has already been won, yet its fullest strength hasn’t been manifest.
While the Allied invasion of Normandy that turned the tide of World War II began on June 6, 1944, a cessation of conflict didn’t happen until 11 months later—on May 8, 1945. There was time between the victory and its final outworking. We observe “shadows” of this in the current expansion of the kingdom of God. Satan is already defeated, but he’s still causing havoc until his final expulsion.
I’ve found a similar picture in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As the story opens, evil is mercilessly subjugating the land. Frigid snow covers everything and life is weighted down under the heaviness of evil. However, Aslan the righteous ruler suddenly emerges—and as he does—the snow begins to melt.
“Aslan is on the move! The Witch’s magic is weakening! Whenever Aslan draws near, springtime breaks out in the midst of the bitter winter of the White Witch.”
The progressive thawing of winter speaks of the kingdom’s ongoing advancement. While winds are warming, the patches of snow remain on the ground; contending for a season that has already passed.
Mysteries remain in this tumultuous transition. Disappointments and pain will be felt along the way. We rightly fight from a position of victory and hope. Yet, for reasons that may never be known, there will be instances of breakdown. When that happens, all we can do is mourn what has been lost (Rom. 12:15) and regroup for another day.
It’s easy to pay attention to the snow, but I would rather focus on the life that’s sprouting from the frigid ground.
J.D. King, speaker and author, is the director of World Revival Network.
 C.S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (New York: Collier, 1950), 95-118.