As a doctor I can give you pills. I can recommend changes in your lifestyle that can improve your health. I can do surgery at times. Once in a while I might even save someone’s life. But can I heal you?
As someone wanting to be healthy you might get all the exercise you need. You might follow careful healthy eating habits. You might get enough sleep and take plenty of vitamins. But will that heal you?
As a minister I can pray for you. I can teach you about having a relationship with God, and faith. I can introduce you to Him and help bring you into His presence. But can I heal you?
Of course the answer to each of these is NO. And that really brings up the question about what healing really is, and where it begins.
Consider Jacob. He’s in his forties, overweight, with diabetes and joint problems. He’s out of work, and his marriage is in trouble. He’s depressed, and spends most days doing a lot of nothing. Every chance he gets he begs God for healing from his joint pains, and is angry when God doesn’t seem to respond.
Or consider Samantha. She’s about 30 and seeking medical care for infertility. Her chaotic homelife as a child led her to numerous sexual relationships as a teen, and an unplanned pregnancy resulting in an abortion. Her pelvic pain now limits intimacy with her husband. She feels anxious and guilty, and isn’t sure she can ever be a mother.
What will healing look like for Jacob or Samantha? Sometimes medical treatment can really make a difference. Perhaps medication for depression and diabetes will help Jacob be more physically active, lose some weight, and get his diabetes under control. With better health he will be better able to find a job, and that will give him the confidence he needs to work on his marriage.
Perhaps through surgery Samantha’s pelvic pain will improve, and that will allow her relationship with her husband to improve. That may help her receive his love more, and that in itself may be enough to help her get pregnant. Perhaps through some other medical treatment she becomes pregnant, and the joy of a baby heals much of the pain in her soul.
Sometimes God’s direct intervention is more obvious. Perhaps Jacob and God have some real heart-to-heart encounters. Jacob learns to experience how God can give him courage and strength to make the lifestyle changes he needs to do. Perhaps he even experiences God healing his physical pain directly. His anger with God changes into gratitude, and his whole life is affected.
Perhaps Samantha learns to receive God’s forgiveness for some of the choices she made out of her own pain, and also learns to forgive herself. Whether or not she becomes pregnant, she feels healed on the inside, and her relationship with her husband is so much stronger.
Where does healing begin? Wherever we let it.
I can’t heal you as a doctor. But sometimes the physical interventions – the medications, surgeries, or other treatments – impact your life in a way that the healing process can begin.
Sometimes the people around you give enough encouragement, comfort, and love that you can care enough about yourself to make the necessary lifestyle changes – and healing begins.
Sometimes God’s direct intervention is where healing begins, especially when we respond with gratitude and courage to then live our lives He intended.
It takes the whole package to truly experience healing – body, mind, and soul. It takes cooperating with God as He impacts our lives. Don’t try and do it without Him!
And when healing does come, it’s a beautiful thing.
Your turn: Have you experienced healing in your life? Where did it begin? How did your decisions make a difference in your healing? What did God do in your life to bring healing? Leave a comment below.
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