In our daily prayers, many times we ask God for a variety of blessings. The blessings we ask from God have a wide range, from relationship issues to employment issues to physical issues, all in need of healing. These issues are very personal to us, and as the saying goes, we know what we want. We go to God in prayer, hoping and sometimes even expecting, to receive exactly what we want from God. And as the saying goes, you can’t always have what you want.
In the Gospel for 7th Sunday of Luke (Luke 8.41-56), we hear about two miracle healings from God but neither goes exactly how the person was thinking it would go. In the case of Jairus, this rich ruler begged Jesus to come to his home to heal his daughter, knowing that she was young and about to die. Unfortunately, because Jesus was delayed, the young girl died before Jesus ever arrived. Jairus was ready to leave and bury his daughter when Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” (Luke 8.50) Jesus knew the daughter would be healed. It was Jairus who had to change his expectation of Jesus.
The other healing was a woman who had been suffering for many years, had spent every last dime she had on doctors, but was still hemorrhaging. Wanting simply to be healed quietly, she secretly approached Jesus (while He was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter) and touched His garments. She was healed, but not quietly. In fact, it caused a great deal of commotion. “Who touched me?” (Luke 8.45) Jesus stopped and brought public attention to her faith. Jesus knew she was there, and He knew she was going to touch Him. It was the woman who had to change her expectation of Jesus.
There are two lessons in this Gospel, one of patience and one of humility. Both the girl and the woman were healed, but before the healing would take place, Jairus and the woman had to step away from their own expectations and allow God to work as He chose. It takes great humility to leave our expectations aside, but until we do, we won’t experience God’s blessings to their fullest. In the case of Jairus, patience was critical. Jesus already knew the daughter would be healed. It was Jarius who had to learn patience and allow God to work as He chose according to His timing.
As our society continues to suffer, not only during this pandemic but political and cultural tensions, we absolutely must come to God for healing. But when we do, we must first accept that our expectations are rarely the expectations of God, and we must change what we expect. That might mean being more patient, or it might mean sometimes we are even asking for the wrong thing. We must trust that God will always know better, and the only way to guarantee that our expectations are the same as His, is to end each prayer with the following words.
“May it be done according to Your will, God!” Then our will, will become His will.