- Matthew 8:5-13
- Psalms 107:20
- Isaiah 55:11
Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” (Matthew 8:7)
I’ll be honest. There was a time when I did not believe in healing. Maybe it all just seemed too weird or crooked TV-Preachery (is that a word?) for my taste. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t think that Jesus could heal people, it was more that I felt like for some reason Jesus wouldn’t. My beliefs were even reinforced in seminary. In our pastoral care classes we were instructed to pray, “safe prayers” for healing like, “God, if it is your will, please heal this person.” Maybe this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but trust me, if you pray this way enough times when someone is sick or dying eventually you’ll start to wonder if it is ever God’s will for people who are sick to be made well. Almost six years ago, however, a crisis brought me face-to-face with my belief (or lack thereof) in healing and I found myself needing more than half-hearted prayers. I’ll share more of the story over the next several weeks, but in short my son was born three months premature and as he struggled for his life in those early days, I needed God’s healing power to be more than just stories we tell in church. I needed more than safe prayers. I needed to believe that Jesus not only could heal my son, I needed to believe that he wanted to heal my son.
Over the next several weeks I will try to unpack a number of things I am learning about God’s healing. I won’t pretend to have it all figured out —not even close. One thing I know, however, is that any conversation about healing begins by wrestling through questions about God’s will. Again, maybe this sounds simple, but an important evolution of my faith has been that God actually wants us, his children, well. I no longer pray, “if it is your will…” because I believe with all that I am that it is. Much more on this to come.
My point in writing this series is not so much to develop a theological treatise as it is to simply provide the opportunity to read and reflect and articulate my evolving belief in God’s power and desire to heal. My hope in sharing these thoughts out loud is to invite you to do the same. So, I invite you to join me. Read, reflect, and pray.