“A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.” – Mark 1:40- 42
Listening to Mike’s sermon on Sunday was difficult. Praying about the concept of physical healing, extreme healing from an illness or disease, leaves my mind wavering between, “Really, He can do that?!?” and “He really can do that!!!” I feel like the father whom we happen upon later in Mark who says in the same sentence, “”I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). For me, that comes out of the wanting to have hope that He will heal in the way I desire but having also seen the reality of that not always happening.
I won’t sugar-coat it. . . there is a grieving process when healing doesn’t happen the way we want it to. And healing from grief takes time. I recently lost a beloved aunt to lung cancer. The holidays were especially difficult for our family since Christmas was her favorite time of year. We are all still healing, holding her memory close to us. I pray for the day that laughter will come with those memories instead of tears.
But healing comes in many forms. No, God did not heal my aunt physically here on this earth. I don’t know why. But He has healed. I’ve seen healing. I am evidence of being healed.
If we believe in the transforming power that comes through a relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, our lives should each bear testimony to His healing. Why? Because transformation is difficult! It is far from instantaneous; it is the process of taking the old and changing it to the new. And few of us walk into change as if it were a welcomed event. If it was, why would Jesus say, as recorded in Matthew 7:14, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” We only serve to frustrate ourselves if we step into our relationship with Christ thinking that transformation is going to be a simple, one‑foot-in-front of the other, walk.
My life has changed drastically since that simple prayer said so many years ago! Was it a smooth glide on a flat path from one way of living to another? My goodness, no! If I plotted it out on a timeline, it probably has many points where two steps forward led to 20 steps backward leading at some point to five steps forward. Picture it, all of it combined, looking like some poorly choreographed dance. But through it all, as I fought against God only to lean into Him all the more, there came healing. Am I done with this process? No way! But even in looking at the smallest progress forward, I can see and know that His healing is possible!
That healing may not always be clear to me or to you in your own walk with Christ. There may be moments where you get stuck in the “why’s” of sadness and grief, times where you find yourself shaking your fists at Him and railing against what He is doing or has done in your life. The important thing is not to get stuck in those moments, to find promise in the healing He has already done and in the fact that even though the situation may not turn out as you hoped and prayed it would, the God of the Universe has a plan for your life, no matter what it may look like in that moment, that is infinitely greater than what you could ever ask for or think of (ref: Ephesians 3:21). Be willing to believe, like the leper in these verses, that He is able to heal! And He will heal, in His way and in His time!