Today I was at church with my parents. After the baby dedication, the pastor prayed over the families. It was a fine prayer until he said something along the lines of "raising kids in a Christian home is the best way to ensure kids grow up healthy". This is when I opened my eyes and tuned out the rest of the prayer. Honestly, this is where I tuned out the rest of the service. This false narrative is exactly why American Christianity can be so out of touch with the world.
No. No. No. This is not how God works. Yes, in a world without struggle and pain and heartache, I wouldn't have cystic fibrosis. But in our current, broken world God uses illness and weakness to prove His strength and power and love. If God wanted to heal me, I have full confidence that He could and that He would. I know there are people who have experienced divine healing. But in many cases, God uses our weaknesses rather than spontaneously healing us. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul says, "But He (the Lord) said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
Me having cystic fibrosis is not the result of a lack of faith or a lack of praying by me or my parents. It's not because I didn't grow up in a Christian home (because I did grow up in a home that taught me about Jesus' crazy amazing love). My disease progression is not the result of God not listening to me or me not praying hard enough. And the prayer this pastor prayed today said the opposite of all of these things. His prayer, whether intentional or not, put the blame of my poor health on me and my family. And I won't stand for that. Jesus is not that shallow. If he is, what kind of God are we serving?
Friends, if your health is less than perfect and you've experienced something similar to what I experienced this morning, I am so sorry. This is not what Jesus would say. Jesus would embrace you fully and would comfort you while you experience heartache and pain. He would not sit back and watch, telling you that you should've done X, Y, or Z and all your problems would be fixed. Jesus is pure love.
I know the prayer today was not meant to offend or to hurt others. I know that he probably spoke without thinking. But regardless, I had to speak out against the false narrative intertwined in his prayer. Good health does not equal God's favor. God uses our illnesses and weaknesses for His good and His glory. I don't know why I have CF, but I know that 1) I am not being punished for anything and 2) I can trust Him in the pain.