Living in a house of sickness the past few days, my mind and prayers have been on healing.
My mom had a terrible case of meningitis, my dad's knee began hurting terribly so that he could barely walk, my little brother, Connor came down with swine flu, and I then caught swine flu from him.
I have been praying with Barak each night for healing from various ailments for my family members lately, as well as for others we know in our church bodies and beyond.
I know that there is tremendous power in prayer. And I know that we have a God who heals. He also honors faith in healing. To the woman who touched his cloak, to the blind man who cried for mercy, and to the persistent woman on behalf of her daughter, Jesus declared that their faith had healed them.
Throughout his ministry on earth, Jesus healed people of all kinds of illnesses and disabilities. And from his words and actions, we get the impression that he enjoyed doing so. That it was his delight to rid these poor souls of their infirmities, of those things which had been plaguing them, or their loved ones. That he desired to restore what had been broken by sin and the fall of the world. To return things, even if just for a moment during this vapor of a life on earth, to the way they were originally intended. To the way we were created to be.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:36-38.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. I remember reading this sentence one morning, and weeping. How could he look out, as a righteous and holy God, over this broken world full of disease and destruction due to our own sin, and have compassion on us? He did not feel disdain or repugnance. He did not feel anger or frustration at these people who were wandering around in ignorance. Rather, he felt compassion. And as a result, he called his disciples to action, to ask for more to lead the helpless. To show them the Way.
I am so grateful to have a God who can heal. But even more so, I am thankful to have a God who wants to heal. Who wants our faith to move mountains. And ultimately, who gives us the best kind of healing possible: permanent healing. From sin and death. The healing Jesus performed on earth was merely a physical representation of the healing he wants to do in our hearts. He gives us life anew, this one being eternal.
And we have so much to look forward to.