When I read the gospels, it is clear Jesus heals dramatically and immediately. Then I consider my experience and that of most people in the church today and wonder (not if Jesus is able to heal or does healing still occur today but) why do most instances of healing no longer occur immediately or dramatically? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Even though miraculous healing still occurs, it is not as commonplace.
I admit when I think of healing, I have in mind those cases where one day someone had cancer and the next day they did not. Or I think of someone being tormented by mental health struggles, and one prayer changed everything. As I ponder the entire spectrum of healing from instantaneous to delayed until we are in heaven, I confront the themes from which I cannot seem to escape – time, process and community.
First, I want to broaden the definition of what many would consider as miraculous. I think miraculous includes every occasion when the creator of the universe, our sovereign, omnipotent and eternal God chooses to become involved in the lives of men and women. Anytime healing occurs God IS involved whether we give him credit or not. Broken bones healed and broken sprits mended do not occur apart from God’s mercy in our lives.
What if God’s first priority for healing is not our broken physical bodies but to repair our trust in him? Foremost, God desires that our broken fellowship with our Heavenly Father be restored as we recognize only Jesus can save us. Yet even our daily walks, our trust can be fractured as we stop depending on God and turn back to making things happen in our own strength or depend on our own resources to protect ourselves.
What if (unlike me) Jesus doesn’t not see it as better when we ask him in a single prayer for healing and it is done. What if He wants to use our weakness to display his strength? What if He wants someone to be healed not only in fellowship with Him but in fellowship with other believers who observe perseverance in someone who lives by faith without apparent healing. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5 – Outward we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day. God’s glory in us becomes brighter not in absence of a deteriorating body but in spite of our physical brokenness.
Maybe I am still waiting because I still need a transformed heart, mind and spirit more than I need the healing I think I need. The good news is that Jesus does not require for us to be healed or whole to use us to minister to others. Lisa Harper wrote, “You can still limp and lead beautifully.”
As I walk around my neighborhood, I see the tree pictured in this blog. Two different storms have cracked off two large branches from the trunk, yet the flowers bloomed magnificently. You too may be broken, but our Lord sees your and even so, treasures the beauty he finds in you.