I was picking my kids up from VBS yesterday, and the song leader was up front reviewing the bible story the kids learned that day. It was from Luke 5 – the story of Jesus healing the Paralyzed man. And then the music started… and all the kids were standing, singing and doing hand motions to “God does Miracles… oh yeah, My God does Miracles!!!” And I became cynical.
Now let me stop and interject something. I have no right to be cynical. I have seen miracles. God saved Anne from the clutches of death, and now one year later, she’s learning bible verses at VBS. That’s a double dose of miracles. Hear me, I’m grateful. Oh so grateful…
But, the kids’ song raises a valid question. Why doesn’t God heal the way He healed when He walked the earth? Have you ever tried to count how many people He healed in the gospels? It’s a lot. And that doesn’t even count the sweeping statements like “and He went from town to town healing and teaching.” One of Jesus’ primary acts on earth was to heal. Why did He do it then and not now? We all have stories of people dying from cancer, struggling with a chronic illness, suffering from a disability. Why doesn’t GOD HEAL??!!!
I have an answer. It’s actually a very satisfying answer. I learned it from Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow. The answer is found in the story of the Paralytic – the very story the children learned that day. What does Jesus do before He heals the man physically? He heals him spiritually by forgiving his sins. Listen and imagine the scene…
On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you” (Luke 5:17-20).
My gut reaction to this story is usually disappointment – which reveals my lack of understanding. I have a tendency to think, “How in the world does that help this poor paralyzed man? His friends have strained, wrestled and worked to get their friend before THE HEALER, and all He can do is forgive the man’s sins? I want to shout, “HEAL HIM! DON’T FORGIVE HIM!” And oh how wrong I am…
I was talking with Canon about this story yesterday, and I asked him… “Would you rather Jesus heal Anne spiritually, and she’ll live forever in heaven with a perfect body? Or would you rather Jesus heal her physically, right now, but she wouldn’t be able to go to heaven?” Well that’s a silly question!! Of course we would rather Anne be whole in heaven.
Jesus healed on earth to give us a physical representation – a word picture of sorts – of how he heals us spiritually. When we have a saving faith, we are healed for all eternity. Our current bodies are broken and temporal. Sometimes He heals us physically and sometimes He doesn’t. But really, God cares more about our eternity with Him than our ease and comfort on this earth. God knows the TRUE, BIG picture which we don’t see clearly…
It’s still hard to wait for heaven through our difficult circumstances – which is why I get cynical and shortsighted sometimes:-) Thankfully, God has given us His Word as a constant source of encouragement and truth!
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
7 thoughts on ““God does miracles””
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust (and illness and accident) destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust (nor illness nor accident) destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20
Good Stuff, as always, Sweet Mama!
Amazing, actually. Thank you.
My own ponderings in response:
Hmmmm are “Healed” and “Cured” necessairly the same thing?
I believe He’s healed me, in a g’zillion ways. Each, as you say, miraculous in their own right. He hasn’t cured me (and today I no longer long for Him to/need Him to: what is, is more than enough)……and the result is, I’ve been able to share amazing things with folks that others cannot. I wouldn’t trade that, even if I could.
(Ahh yes, there are indeed times I am sad, even filled with deep grief, and miss “what isn’t”….but those are rare moments now, few, far between and brief—just enough to be reminded of Who’s I am and the incredible journey it’s been/continues to be.
Without those low spots, it’s easy to simply live gladly/peacably in today without the wow-factor. How easily I as a human, abundantly blessed, can forget the WOW. So even the lows are part of the process and healing, grin)
God’s not finished with Anne, or with your family. (Yup, I know you know this, grin).
Remember: Works-in-progress are often hard to recognize along the way. (A block of Marble or stone doesn’t “look” like the amazing piece of Art they are to become, except to the Artist….and He’s THE Artist…to others, well, they see either potential, or a mess of shavings, chips, dust and a mess that’s not even a lovely block anymore. Hey, who other than He, would recognize, outside it’s setting, a single cell’s first division, as the makings of a person? Complete with brains, talents, emotions, gifts, all woven within what they eye alone cannot even behold?).
Thank you, for continuing to share your journey and thoughts with us….by doing so, we too are being changed/rearranged…… grateful and are remindid to continue to lift up those we carry in our hearts.
He healed and even raised others from the dead…yet, we forget their bodies eventually faced illness again because of the fall, and at least Lazarus had to go through a physical death a second time. Ugh, who wants to do that? (Don’t get me wrong, it was a joyous occasion when Christ called him forth and so much is learned from that powerful moment, but he was completely Free for at least a few days…) As you say, physical healing is just a ‘representation’ of what he is doing in our hearts…Anne is being healed day by day.
I hear you, K. Love you guys and praying for you. Thankful for all the miracles He has performed and will continue to perform in Anne’s body, and will pray for you as you deal with the reality. Love you guys.
How insightful! I’m really moved by your thoughts of “healing”!
God is in control!
We must be thankful for all the miracles that God has done for Anne! He’s not done, yet, though!
Lucel-Melody–Love yours, too. I’m reminded of some sculptor who was said to have been asked how he makes the statue. He replied that the end result is already there, it is just his job to chip away everything that is not a part of the finished product. Sounds like what God does with us–chips away everything that is not who He will have us be at the end!
Thank you for all of the wonderful comments!!!!