I've been wrestling with the topic of faith and healing this week. In my last post, I put out a serious call for help as I worked through the questions strangling my soul. (If you know of verses, I'm still open to hear ideas, but now I will explain why the need isn't so urgent any more.) I've stated to find peace in this area and, so like the workings of God, it looks totally different than anything I asked or imagined. I came across an article that is giving me lots to chew on: God, Why Won't You Heal? by Steve Bundy, vice president at Joni and Friends (JAF, ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada).
Not only did the article give me yet another example of when God did not instantly heal, "Christ’s primary mission was to redeem man for eternal life and a right relationship with the Father...
When a cure was the means to accomplish this restoration, then Jesus did so. Otherwise, His ministry was to the heart and soul of mankind. For example, in Luke 5:17-26, Jesus healed a man lowered to Him through the roof of a house by forgiving him of his sins (restoring him to God). He didn’t immediately cure the man physically because the man was already in community, as evidenced by his caring friends. Only when Jesus discerned the thoughts of the Pharisees did He cure the man—“so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (v. 24). Even in curing the man Jesus’ focus was on true healing—a right relationship with God," but shinned a spotlight on what I think is my core struggle here.
This is the statement that knocked my socks off: "My biblical theology was out of alignment as I labored to interpret Scripture out of my experience, instead of allowing Scripture to interpret my real-life experience." I've been so busy looking for Bible verses to fit my experiences, rather than allowing God to guide me in interpreting my experiences according to His Word.
Now that it is not so important to me, yes I now have a poof text for a time when God did not answer prayers for healing (not from this article, just a story God brought immediately to mind once I gave up the quest to align the Bible to what I wanted it to say):
16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.18 On the seventh day the child died... - 2 Samuel 12
We looked at Psalm 51 several weeks ago, so it seems appropriate that we should re-visit the passage that started my whole quest for answers about what "restore" means. I was hoping I could make Scripture say it was about the physical, when I come back around to the truth that while all will one day be restored and my body made new, what God most longs to restore is my spirit, my joy, my trust, our relationship. That will be the biggest miracle of all, to come from this whole journey! I've been fighting for perfection in myself, when God is offering so very, very much grace. I've still got so much to learn, but I do love these "light bulb moments" when things pull together just a little bit more.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
This turned out to be the last in a series of 4 different posts, as I wrestled though this issue of healing. They are all linked by looking at the February, 2013 links, or going to the end of God's Paint Brush.