In a chapter entitled Unanswered Prayer , Paul shares the story of his daughter Kim. As Kim was growing in the womb, his wife was praying Psalm 121 over her, asking God to keep her baby from all harm. When Kim was born, the doctor gave Paul's wife too much Pitocin, a labor inducing drug, after which the doctor left and never returned to the delivery room. Paul's wife was in agony during labor and when Kim was finally born she was blue. Something was clearly wrong but it was unclear if Kim had been hurt at birth or if she had some kind of disorder. The list of Kim's problems was overwhelming. Paul writes,
"It was agony, especially for Jill. She had prayed that God would keep Kim from harm, but we were holding a harmed child...It would have been easier for us if Jill had not prayed that Kim would be kept from harm. The promise of God actually made it worse. It hurt to hope."
I don't know about you but I find that God often weaves the threads of the things He is teaching me in from various corners. So I shouldn't have been surprised when our church had a healing service last week. Our Pastor has been focusing on the resurrection and felt God leading him to preach on the healing that is ours because of the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53:4 says of Jesus, "Surely he has borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows." He not only took our physical brokenness but also our emotional brokenness. I have to say that it was a powerful thing to see so many go forward presenting their physical and emotional areas of need and asking the one who went to the cross and conquered death to bring healing. I was reminded that we all have deep needs that only Jesus can meet!
Today's sermon found us at the tomb of Lazarus in John 11:1-45. The stage was set with this little comparison.
Our pastor gave us the following principals in regards to healing.
1. The presence of God does not guarantee the absence of problems. John 11:6, 21,32,37
2. Healing miracles normally begin by encountering the love of God. John 11: 3,5,36
3. Healing miracles are not about sensationalism or convenience but about the glory of God. John 11:4,25,40,42
4. The supremacy of Jesus' name gives authority to heal physical bodies.
- Authority to declare truth John 11:25
- Authority over circumstances John 11:39
- Authority to give life John 11:43
- Authority to set free John 11:44
5. True miracles don't simply resolve problems but strengthen our trust in God. John 11:45
One of the Pastor's closing statements struck me. "As great as healing is," he said, "It's but a foretaste of the life that Jesus brings when we enter into relationship with him." It caught my attention because it is precisely what Paul and his wife discovered as they cared for their daughter Kim. He writes,
"We had thought that the harm was a daughter with disabilities, but this was nothing compared to the danger of two proud and willful parents. Because Kim was mute, Jill and I learned to listen. Her helplessness taught us to become helpless, too. Kim brought Jesus into our home. Jill and I could no longer do life on our own. We needed Jesus to get from one end of the day to the other. We'd asked for a loaf of bread, and instead of giving us a stone, our Father had spread a feast for us in the wilderness."Healing - Do I understand it any better? I'm not sure. But one thing I do understand is that whether the answer is "yes" or "no", my deep need is meant to draw me into relationship with Jesus, the only one who has the power to help me.