“Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.” - Mark 7:31-32
Does Jesus still heal today? This is a question I would have answered differently just ten years ago. Thankfully, I can honestly proclaim that, like the deaf man in this passage, I am a rescue story. Over and over again, I have had people bring me to Jesus. He has seen me, revealed himself to me, and healed me.
About nine years ago, I was working with a health client who loved theology and books as much as I do. As a pastor, she was well-versed in many of the works I was reading and pondering. At that time, I was engrossed in a book entitled The Bondage Breaker by Neal Anderson. After a two-hour meeting (which included some discussion on health), she recommended that I attend an upcoming conference at the nearby retreat center. She assured me the conference would expand upon what I was reading in Anderson’s book.
Without hesitation, I signed up and recruited ten of my closest friends to come along. Truth be told, I had NO idea what I was signing up for, which was exactly how God orchestrated my presence. I quickly learned it was a healing retreat, but I had no clue what that meant or what the weekend would entail. Again, that was a good thing, as I might not have stayed otherwise. For so much of my life, I had put God in a box. I liked everything in life to be neat and tidy, controlled and predictable. Having experienced a great amount of trauma, that was an understandable defense posture, a way to feel safe. Looking back, I love to say that I was surviving but not thriving or even truly living.
God broke my box that weekend, and I can honestly say that I have never wanted to put it back together! While I was completely out of my comfort zone at that retreat, I also saw God perform physical, emotional and spiritual healings I could never have imagined. My own life was radically changed as some of my deep-seated bondages were broken. I was so hungry for more of God’s healing work in my life that I signed up for every retreat, training course, and healing school I could find. With each session I attended, I entered deeper into my journey of faith and healing with the Lord. I always say it was the hardest and best work I have ever done!
This journey taught me that God loves to heal his people, and he loves to use those he has healed to help others. Much to my amazement, God could use even someone like me. After four training schools and an internship, I began my own work in the healing ministry. The greatest lesson I ever learned was from my mentor and prayer warrior, Charlene. Every time I met with her, she walked with me into the presence of Jesus, where we asked for deeper understanding, new perspectives, and greater healing. And Jesus never failed to meet us!
As a prayer minister, I have learned that I have no answers, no great words, or insights. I only have Jesus as my guide. When someone asks for prayer, we walk boldly into his presence and then we wait, we watch, and we listen. Every encounter with him brings healing, though it is not always the healing we wanted or requested. And yet, we never stop asking and never stop believing in his desire to heal and his power to heal.
These people brought their friend to Jesus and implored Jesus to lay his hand on him. They longed to see their friend healed and set free from his physical bondages, and they knew Jesus was the only way to that healing and freedom. While Jesus does not walk among us as he did then, he promised to always be with us and to continue his work among us through the Holy Spirit. Are you coming to him for your healing and are you bringing your friends for that healing? There is nothing magical about the healing ministry of Jesus. You just come – come by yourself or come with a friend or mentor – come to Jesus with your hurts, your needs, and your bondages. Then wait on him and do whatever he tells you to do!
Reflect and Respond:
Have you put Jesus in a box and limited his healing power in you and through you? What would it look like for you to come to him today, to get still and quiet, and to wait for him to speak, reveal, and heal? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our new six-week Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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