After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed. (NLT)
It is very encouraging to read of Jesus healing all who came to him. It is puzzling to realise that not everyone who asks him for healing today are actually healed. The first thing to say about that is simply that so much more healing happens today than in Jesus’ day. Advances in medical science mean many of us are healed who wouldn’t otherwise be healed.
As we thank God for those advances, we acknowledge he is behind them. Divine healing can come through a surgeon or counsellor as well as via prayers by faithful people. We must not drive a wedge between such means and demand God only heal one particular way.
We still face the issue of why some are healed and some are not. If none were healed or if all were healed, we would not face the issue so painfully. We hear of people praying for healing and prayers being answered, and we hear of others who see only death as the answer to their prayers. And let’s not then shrug our shoulders and see death as a sort of healing. Indeed, it is, but let’s be honest and admit that is not the healing we were hoping for.
I pray for healing for myself or others because I want to share what is on my heart with my Father. I do so realising healing may come as a result of some medically defying miracle, or as a result of wise clinical treatment. I do so realise that in this broken world over which God weeps and where his perfect will is not always done, the healing I pray for might not occur.
That is not lack of faith. Our prayers for healing are to be bold enough to believe God can do the apparently impossible, and humble enough to leave things in his hands.
After an inspirational run on Hope 103.2, Lifewords with David Reay will be delivering its final reflection on Friday 27 January. But, great news, David contributes to Real Hope devotions along with a variety of other deep faith thinkers that will be delivered straight to your inbox from Monday 30 January – so you won’t have to skip a devotional beat! If you prefer an audio version, we also have Real Hope – The Podcast.