I've been thinking a great deal about healing the past couple of days, partly because I've been working on a project that talks about how Jesus healed the sick in his day and partly because I've been thinking about how healing happens...or doesn't happen...in my own life.
of the insights that has come to me is our assumption that for healing
to be miraculous, it has to be instantaneous. A prayer, an anointing and
Voila! The cure is complete. It's how we tend to assume all of Jesus'
miracle cures happened.
While many of his cures did seem to occur at the speed of the spoken word, others didn't.
Take the story of the blind man who first saw men like trees. Jesus had
to apply the mud pack a second time before his sight wasfully
restored. And then there are the 10 lepers who were cured somewhere on
their journey to see the priest. We don't know how long it took for their
healing to show up, but clearly it wasn't right away.
I've said before, since my mother died, I've battled anxiety and panic
on a near-daily basis. I've done all the "right" things, all the medical
and psychological things one does to combat these problems. I have also
prayed until I feel like I've battered the gates of heaven as well as
had the anointing of the sick. While I am gradually feeling more like
myself, there are days, like
today, when for no good reason that I can discern, the sensations well
and I feel like a deer caught in the headlights of life. And the
headlights are attached to a semi going 75 miles an hour down a one-lane
On days like this, even the hope of healing feels like a bad practical joke.
I have an acquaintance who has been involved in
healing prayer and ministry for several years. We prayed together about
my anxiety and afterward he said to me, "healing itself is a
journey...remember that there is still part of the road left to journey
on." Then he added, "the reality(is) that healing is possible and
to pour that healing out on your life."
pondering his words as I've been reflecting on how Jesus cured. I don't
claim to have the answer to why we are sometimes healed and why we are sometimes left in our illnesses. Much better minds than mine have grappled with that question. But it
has come to my thoughts that our belief, our faith plays a role, perhaps
even an essential one, in how we experience healing. Believing that we
are being healed isn't any guarantee that we are being healing. But
doubting that healing can take place seems to effectively block any
So I ask myself, do I believe that the combination of medicine, psychology and faith can really remove the burden of panic? Do I truly believe that healing is possible? Do I actually think that Jesus wants to pour healing on my life.
Do I believe?
"Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief."