As the father of two autistic children I also wonder why they haven't been healed.
Yet I know of only two half-decent answers. One: we don’t know. Two: one day, he will heal.
Despite the way we sometimes think about it, there are four different ways in which God heals people:
1) Healing bodies
Every second, as my heart beats, tiny bits of mineral and organic material are sent to parts of the body that need it, performing ongoing repairs that will never finish, like painting the Forth Bridge, hour after hour, year after year. My body is being healed all the time, and it’s a result of the grace of the God who created me, searches me, knows me and loves me that he has designed a body that functions that way.
2) Healing breakthrough
In August, at the Newday youth event, I had the privilege of interviewing people who had been physically healed during one of the meetings. Over 250 responded, and I spoke to several whose stories were both immediate and dramatic, as well as hearing from those who had been healed in previous years, and were still gleefully free of symptoms. ‘Greater works than these will [you] do, because I am going to the Father’ (John 14:12, ESV).
3) Healing skills
When I was 11 I was in a terrible car crash, and would have died, if it had not been for the God-given skills of other human beings. The building of the local hospital, the ambulance that got me there before I died from blood loss, the image of God in the paramedics that made them give their lives to rescuing people they’ve never met, the wisdom of the surgeon, the intelligence and skill of the thousands of individuals whose discoveries have made operating theatres and anaesthesia possible – all of these are gracious gifts of a loving God, whose mercy enables healings to take place across the world that would, in any other generation, be considered quite miraculous.
4) A healing future
A trumpet sounds, and the dead are raised in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, never to perish again (1 Corinthians 15:52). Physical bodies become incorruptible, spiritual, glorious, powerful; no sickness or affliction will ever befall them again. Cholera and cancer are consigned to the cosmic skip for all eternity. Every deaf ear is unblocked, every damaged limb is made whole, every blind eye sees. Autism and Down’s syndrome and schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are swallowed up in victory. And ‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death’ (1 Corinthians 15:26).
So we pray for healing. We believe God can heal our children. And we trust him when he doesn’t, knowing that one day, he will.
To read more from Andrew and Rachel, see their recent article When Life Gives You Oranges