Reading through Max Lucado’s book “Before Amen” I came to chapter Five: Heal Me.
This one is very close to my heart. I’ve read it many times since.
“Heal me,” is a prayer I have prayed more than any other.
“Adam and Eve had a falling out with God and a falling out with each other. Nature fell out of whack, and the human body out of balance. The Fall was exactly that: a fall from wholeness. Sin opened the door, and sickness walked in.” (page 49, “Before Amen”)
Heal me! Is that an unreasonable prayer? Not at all. Reading through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we see numerous encounters of Jesus healing the sick. Many times Jesus interrupted his travels because of a request for healing. Over and over we see Jesus answering their plea and healing their disease.
My favourite sentence regarding healing in the Gospels is from Matthew 4:24 “… he (Jesus) healed them all.” (emphasis mine)
Let me repeat it: “He healed them all.”
“God’s goal for you is wholeness,” Lucado writes. He quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” (emphasis mine)
So if God’s goal for us is wholeness and Jesus “healed every kind of disease and illness,” (Matthew 4:23) then why do we still face disease and illness?
Lucado explains, “For the same reason we still sin. This is a fallen world, and the kingdom is a coming kingdom. Sickness and sin still stalk our planet… the very sin and sickness that Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good. Sin becomes a showcase of his grace. Sickness becomes a demonstration of God’s ability to heal.”
So I pray for healing! Even though Jesus knows all the details of my illness, I still tell him like it is, what I feel and explain the pain I’m in. And I pray: Heal me!
Do I always get healed? Not the way I want to.
Lucado writes, “He will heal you – instantly or gradually or ultimately.”
According to this explanation, He does answer my prayer for healing. But it’s in God’s hands how He heals me.
I was healed instantly when two friends laid hands on me and prayed for my injured back to be healed. The pain did not return. Instant healing.
Gradual healing – I’ve experienced that, too. I find that in the gradual healing I’m learning to walk by faith, continually bringing my request for healing before God. As I draw closer to God on this journey I am more aware of God’s presence and His peace in my circumstances.
There are diseases I’m fighting every day, and no matter how much I’ve prayed, I have seen no healing. In those cases I am looking forward to my ultimate healing.
“In heaven God will restore our bodies to their intended splendor. ‘We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him.’ (1 John 3:2) God will turn your tomb into a womb out of which you will be born with a perfect body into a perfect world.” (page 53, “Before Amen”)
And until that happens, I keep praying: Heal me! I keep hoping that one day I will be free of pain and suffering.
In Lucado’s words:
“If Jesus heals you instantly, praise him. If you are still waiting for healing, trust him. Your suffering is your sermon.”
Amen and Amen!
Have you prayed for healing? How has God answered your prayer?