Taking Small Steps in My Understanding of Healing
Healing of all kinds—spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and relational—is certainly one of the central themes of the Bible. (It’s especially emphasized in Isaiah, Deuteronomy, and the Gospels.)
I openly confess that this subject has been a confusing area of my walk with God and with the people of God. Not because I have not seen quite a lot of amazing healing—I have seen all kinds! In spite of many examples I’ve witnessed, I’m sure my confusion has been exacerbated by charlatans and ego trippers as well as outright liars and fabricators. But, if I am honest, my biggest pitfall has been not knowing how to deal with the hurts and frustrations of the times when healing is not given—the times when confusion and disappointment reign.
I tend to be too much like my daughter was years ago, at the age of 12, when I asked her if she would like for me to pray for her to be healed from the serious flu she was experiencing. She unequivocally said, “No.” I responded, “Well, that is fine, but would you tell me why?” She, a person who often cuts to the heart of things, responded, “Because if God doesn’t heal me, I will be furious.”
But the teachings and challenges two New Covenant sisters shared with us two recent Sundays in June, and the stories shared by others, have led me to a new commitment that I hope I will keep. I want to attempt—as they challenged us to do—to deal with the realities of healing and non-healing the way I deal with almost all other areas of spiritual life and growth. I don’t expect to get it all right; I know I won’t fully understand all of the ways I see God respond, nor the ways I cannot see God’s responses at other times.
It’s a stance that I’m OK with in most other areas of my spiritual life—my prayer life, my Bible reading, my desire to be a good steward, my commitment to care about the poor of our society, my understanding of how faith and environmental concerns intersect, my observation of the wonders and the frustrations of church, etc. I can tell God that I want to pray more and better, or understand and live the Biblical life more fully—both things that I am confident God wants for me— and I do not expect that my next step will be huge success and near perfection. I know it will be a slogging step forward, or a huge step forward and then likely some sad sliding back, but I also know it is still an important step.
So, I am going to attempt to approach God with a similar attitude in the area of healing. I expect failures on my part, and some actions that I don’t fully (or even barely) understand on God’s part. But, I also expect to have grown some when I look back a year or two from now.
I would love to know if this makes sense to you, or if you’ve had other similar experiences developing your spiritual life and growth.