Have you ever been to a healing service, Dear Reader? I’ve been to lots of worship services, and different kinds of worship. I don’t recall actually seeing anyone healed at least not physically, you know, throw down the crutches and dance in the aisles.
But there was a Sunday in high school when our orchestra’s string quartet was invited to play for a Sunday morning church service. Worship began pretty much as usual. I was actually afraid I’d fall asleep, right up there in front of the sanctuary, holding my viola, when the pastor began his message. Boy, was I wrong!
A couple of years earlier I had “gotten saved” at a Youth for Christ rally. I was used to energetic worship on Saturday nights during rallies, and more mundane ritual come Sunday mornings. This was no typical Sunday morning!
From the time the pastor walked in, black robe and all, he looked like he was about ready to pop with something exciting to share. He began his message with a little bio about his time in the ministry. The pastor concluded by saying he had been satisfied with his work…until a few days earlier.
I gotta tell you, Dear Reader, on that summer Sunday morning that pastor absolutely glowed, and it wasn’t because the a/c wasn’t cranking out enough cool air. With words stumbling over joy, he told about actually meeting Jesus and inviting Him to come in and take over his life.
The pastor apologized for serving “under false pretenses”, but he didn’t linger there. With no condemnation, he began to invite others into the full, rich life with Jesus he’d discovered at a pastors’ retreat of all places.
When we read and hear about Jesus healing people during His ministry, we recall Jairus’s daughter and Lazarus being raised from the dead. We expect to hear about blind Bartimaus. We’ve cut our church teeth on stories of Jesus’s healings… But do we expect to witness or experience healings like those today?
“You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him…” Acts 10:38 MSG
Do you know anyone who has recovered from substance abuse, Dear Reader? I do! Sounds like healing to me. Some of us have been blessed with physical healings like cancer, or infertility.
Yeah, I know. Those things probably involved physicians, procedures, programs, prescriptions… But who was behind all that? If we believe the Lord is the Creator of All, doesn’t “All” include medical treatment, interventions…
And doesn’t it also include the Lord healing us of demons of the soul? Demons like depression, anxiety, narcissism, anorexia…and the awful guilt of thinking we have invited them into our lives.
I have lived with depression all of my life, literally. Depression has deep roots in Mama’s family. It’s cost lives and inflicted pain beyond pain.
I didn’t recognize the demon of depression within me for years. I tried to shut it out, cover it up, ignore/deny it. And when a doctor had the audicity to say the word to me, I was angry.
What a bitter, destructive cocktail: depression, anger, gnawing guilt! And compounded by no healing in sight.
Dear Reader, I still absolutely hate that depression maintains a constant vigil on the edge of every part of me. It literally took decades, desperation, and a doctor who listened to more than my words for healing to begin…healing from the inside out.
I had to realize depression was how the Lord created me, maybe it’s my “thorn in the flesh”. I had to learn, and ACCEPT, that depression is a disease not a decision. All those years of desperation the Lord hadn’t abandoned me. He kept me safe in a family that somehow managed to love me no matter what.
These days I take meds for high cholesterol, allergies, and depression. And it’s all good.
Dear Reader, how has healing affected your life? Has there been a time when you wondered if Jesus was enough to heal you or someone you cared about?
My prayer for you, Dear Reader, is that on your journey you’ve found enough hope to sustain and propel you toward the healing, on the inside or the outside, that our Savior has more than enough to give.