Who doesn’t love a miracle? You know the kind that occurs drastically and in an instant? Who wouldn’t want that?! There is a growing number of my friends and loved ones who have been hit with some kind of chronic illness — everything from cancer to ALS to migraines to digestive struggles. I’m sure it is the same in your circles. I don’t know why this is the case, but I am hard pressed to fight alongside of each of them as they so graciously do for me.
I don’t tend to be a sickly person. I rarely catch a cold. I had a brief bout of tension headaches in high school and college. But fast forward to the past couple of years. My knees have been hurting a lot. They hurt when I walk. They hurt when I sit for long periods of time. They hurt going up and down stairs. Tears readily fall when the pain hits. I attributed it to aging, but I was actually diagnosed with patella tendinitis last February. Then, in June, I was in a multi-vehicle car accident that led to some deep tissue muscle damage along with a probable bulging disc causing sciatica in my left leg. Needless to say, there is pain there too!
I’ve always tried to have compassion for my friends who suffer daily from chronic pain, but I could never fully relate. But this last year has been eye-opening and humbling to say the least. I’m okay at managing until I feel sidelined by my pain.
I have prayed and prayed for healing. I have repeatedly asked for prayer. Healing has come, but it’s only been a little taste of it. My mind has been camped on healing and miracles and what they mean and how they’re experienced in our lives.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
I love this verse. It is a beautifully harsh reminder that Jesus willingly took on our sin and sickness through His death on the cross. His wounds have healed us. We are healed because Christ lives in us. His healing power fills us. I’ve discovered through my journey and others’ journeys that though we are healed in our spirit through Him, sometimes our healing in the physical is progressive and fully manifests only over time.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
Mark 8:22-25 (NIV)
It’s easy to read these verses and just focus on Jesus healing the blind man. That is key, but I think the underlying truth of these verses is persistence — in our faith and even in our prayers. I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a verse where Jesus tells us that we will pray once and our prayer will be answered. Prayer in many aspects is about us. It’s about us connecting to God. It’s about us learning His character. It’s about us hearing His voice clearly. It’s about us allowing the Holy Spirit to cultivate the fruit of long suffering within us. Jesus modeled this for us in this story, and that leads me to know it is important that I do as He did.
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
James 5:14-15 NIV
Often, our healing both spiritually and physically is connected to community. Often, it comes by way of community. I have been on the praying side of my friends who needed healing. I have laid hands and prayed. Some were instantly healed. Some simply felt better. Some even passed away and received healing in eternity. But I have also been on the receiving side when I have needed healing. Those have been such humbling and grace-filled times. I’ve felt seen and loved and valued. That was when community truly became the family of God in my life.
Healing is not just for us. It is mainly to show God’s glory. It is one way He demonstrates His love for His creation. When we have received healing, we are to then walk in the authority we now have and impart that healing to others.
We can easily become discouraged when our healing tarries. It’s okay to walk through a bit of disappointment. That is when it is most important to be surrounded by community that can have faith for you and believe for you during those times.
If you or someone you love needs healing, I would love to pray for you!
Often, our healing both spiritually and physically is connected to community. -@karina268: Click To Tweet