(A theological musing about healing)
“You were on your feet once; you can do it again.” What great, encouraging words. As if somehow, I had anything to do with God healing me in 2015. There is almost a hidden suggestion that it involved some positive thinking or right attitude on my part. In reality I was neither waiting nor ready to be healed when it happened. God just did it. I lacked faith at that time, I was quite distant from God in 2015. In fact, I would say the only person who needs faith with payers of healing is the person praying. There was one point where my faith kicked in. That was once I knew and felt the reality that I had been healed. Let me repeat that in another way for clarity. Once I knew, absolutely that something had changed, then I acted in faith and stood up. At that point I had a choice, act in faith and accept that change or act in disbelief and don’t.
There is a lot spoken by some Christians about “naming and claiming” healing. You cannot claim what you do not have. That would be folly and stupidity. Like a blind man claiming he could see when he can’t. If a blind man is healed, he knows it because suddenly he can see. That’s the same with all healing. When you are healed, something changes, and you are healed. Not because you name the healing and claim, “I am healed, and I am believing it.” But because it actually happens. The problem comes, because it’s easier to say someone else lacks faith, when they are not healed if you pray, rather than accept the truth. When we pray for someone to be healed, either they are healed, or they are not. It is the faith of the person praying that is significant.
Don’t mishear what I am saying. God can do anything, and He does amazing things. God heals today in the most incredible ways that are beyond all medical explanation. I am only talking about how faith, the faith of the person praying is so significant. Further I am emphasising that the people prayed for don’t have to be full of faith to be healed. Jesus raised the dead; they certainly didn’t have faith. Jesus healed those at a distance who didn’t even know he was praying. Friends brought a sick man to Jesus. Jesus picked people from a crowd to heal. If you are sick or disabled it will not be how much faith you have that makes a difference to whether you are healed.
When Jesus prayed for people, everyone was healed. That is no surprise, his faith was so great. When the early Church prayed for people a similar pattern, because of their faith. If we do not see as many healings, it is our faith, the faith of those praying, not those being prayed for that needs to increase. I believe that is why we see fewer healings today. We as a Church are less full of faith as we pray for healing. But I also believe we are in a time of partial revelation of the kingdom of God. There is a time coming when there will be no more death, sickness or war, but now we only see glimpses of that coming time. Do not condemn those who are sick or disabled when they do not leap up when prayed for, it is not a weakness in them. Pray instead to Jesus that he grants you more faith as you pray.
For me I was able to walk after years of not being able to. I did not suddenly gain extra faith on May 3rd, 2015. Mary was granted extra faith that night, as a gift of God and as she prayed, I was healed in Jesus name. This is not ‘faith’ healing in an abstract sense. But healing by God in Jesus Christ’s name.
When my ability to walk stopped in January 2018 it wasn’t a lack of faith and if God gave me the ability to walk again that would not be because I had gained more faith. I don’t know why my ability to walk ended, but I don’t have to understand. I just accept the healing as a gift that lasted two and a half years. God didn’t say this is until you die when he healed me in 2015. If you think about it, no healing would ever be that. As we age our bodies become frail and weak, so sickness always returns.
When people say, “you can do it again.” You can now see why I see that as folly. I did nothing the first time. If people say well done, they have missed the point, it was all God, not me.
I find it easier not to focus on whether God will heal me again. It is better to live for now, in the gift God grants us than in a hope or expectation of what might be. Living in a future hope of healing only leads to frustration. If I spend my days hoping I will be healed again then I am not embracing and enjoying now. Today is all we are promised, tomorrow is a possibility, but not a definite. Live in the moment, knowing and trusting God to provide and care for us. That’s what I try to do. I wrote before about how I find peace and joy by trusting God and seeing what he gave me as a gift. To focus on what I do not have would just negate that peace. I am happy to be prayed for and perhaps God will again grant me the ability to walk. But my life can still have meaning, joy and peace as it is.