When an illness has devastated someone's life, it can take incredible courage to attend a healing meeting. It must therefore be a very disappointing experience when the hope for healing is not fulfilled. When these expectations are not met, how do we as a body of Christ respond to those who return from a seemingly 'failed' healing journey? Do we judge their lack of faith or disapprove of their participation in a healing rally?
I believe that it is essential that as Christians, we learn to reach out and engage in the tough dialogue about why God doesn't heal. Authors like Philip Yancy do not hide away from these topics. In his book, 'Disappointment with God,' Yancy wrestles with three tough questions including; 'is God unfair? Is God silent? Is God hidden' (www.philipyancey.com).
There is no virtue in being critical of healing evangelists when they demonstrate a genuine intention to see an anointing of God bring restoration to the sick. In Robert Liardon's book, "God's Generals The Healing Evangelists', Liardon details the historical accounts of miracles performed by healing evangelists. It is not doubt that great evangelists like John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth encountered miraculous healings.
Despite the fact that miracles do happen, there is a need for ministering to those who don't receive their miracle. Perhaps this could be done by simply listening to loved ones as they share their experiences and disappointments. It is inevitable that those who have not been healed will be struggling with feelings of anger and sadness. Confusion will arise as they try to make sense of God's plan. A personal christain worldview can sometimes come tumbling down when a crisis is experienced. I believe at this point it is vital that there is a strong support network that cares for, listens to and empathises with the person hurting.
I have great respect for authors like Philip Yancy, who when choosing a title for his book- "Disappointment with God" was questioned about his choice of words. Yancy states: "At the time, the publisher questioned the title, so different from the cheery titles that predominate in Christian bookstores. But I wanted to speak to people who were truly disappointed."(www.philipyancey.com).
When considering how healing rallies usually attract large amounts of desperate people, it needs to be remembered that many people do return back to their homes utterly disappointed. As a church body, we need to step in and help pick up the broken pieces.