I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I know that God can, and often does, the impossible. When He chooses to work in ways that are clearly miraculous, it bolsters my faith and increases my trust in Him.
But what about the times that He chooses NOT to heal?
Shortly after Turbo was diagnosed and we were told that there was no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, I started hearing reports on rare cases of T1D being cured through diet and lifestyle. Both intrigued and skeptical, I started researching the possibility.
What I found was both encouraging and confusing. To the best of my untrained understanding, there have been a few instances of people reversing Type 1 Diabetes*. There are reports of curing Type 1 through an alkaline diet, a ketogenic diet, a gluten-free diet, the GAPS diet, a raw/vegan diet, and the Paleo diet. Oddly enough, many of these specific eating regimens seem to completely conflict with one another (for example, the Paleo diet is heavily animal-protein-based, while a raw/vegan diet contains no animal products at all). But some of the key similarities are low-carb/starch foods, the use of whole, unprocessed foods, and gluten-free foods.
(*Note: I want to point out that many of the supposedly-cured patients likely were experiencing what is called the “honeymoon” phase of diabetes, where – for reasons not yet determined by science – the patient’s own pancreas produces adequate amounts of insulin for a time shortly following diagnosis, often resulting in the patient’s need to discontinue insulin shots for a while.)
Because of these claims about reversing Type 1 Diabetes (and I do believe that for a very few Type 1 diabetics, this has really happened), we have been experimenting with various diets for Turbo. We took him to a certified nutritionist who specializes in reversing autoimmune disorders, including Type 1 Diabetes. We’ve tried supplements. And we’ve prayed. A lot. Many, many other people have been praying, too.
But despite the fact that our dietary choices have definitely helped us to better manage his blood sugar and have ultimately helped him to lead a healthier life, he still has diabetes. There has never been a single day since his diagnosis that he’s not needed insulin injections.
Why didn’t the Lord choose to heal him through diet as He has for others? Is it a lack of faith on our part? Does God enjoy seeing His children suffer?
I certainly can’t pretend to know why God chooses to do what He does, but I know that He delights in caring for us and loves us beyond our wildest comprehension. I am also convinced that His decision for Turbo to remain a diabetic is not due to lack of faith on our part. God gave us Baby D when it was medically impossible for us to have another child. Because of this, I have no doubt that He could heal Turbo in the blink of an eye.
The Lord has blessed our family with diabetes because it brings Him glory. How or why that is, we might not know until we reach Heaven. Dealing with diabetes has definitely increased my prayer life. It’s expanded my faith. It has stretched me more than anything else has ever stretched me. It has opened my eyes to the suffering of others. It has made me more aware of my need for a Savior. And those are all good things.
When God chooses not to heal, it is because He has something far better in store.
Joni Eareckson Tada was once uninvited to a speaking engagement after the committee leaders decided that since God had not healed her, she must not have had enough faith. I think her life is a beautifully-clear example of how the Lord has used her much more powerfully from her wheelchair than He would have were it not for her diving accident.
I don’t know all the ways in which the Lord will use our family to glorify Him, but I do know that since He has currently chosen to allow diabetes to remain a part of us, we can better serve Him with this affliction than we could without it.
Will God ever heal Turbo? I don’t know. I know that He is able to if He decides that it would serve Him best. Diabetes isn’t our punishment. It’s simply a tool, albeit a difficult one at times, through which we can best glorify God.
God sometimes chooses, for His glory and our good, not to heal.