Friday, 10 April 2009

Faith and Healing

This is Good Friday and maybe a day for reflection on our walk with Christ. This thought is driven more by feedback this week from two people with different forms of cancer. One has been through a lot of treatment and has now reached a point were it seems incurable. The other with a milder form of the disease is in the beginning stages of treatment.

It would be easy to pray that God would relieve the suffering of the first person and heal the second quickly but we believe that God seeks to heal all people. We therefore pray that the cancer would be driven out from both of their bodies. We believe God will heal but what is God healing in these situations?

Often our vision is narrow and focused simply on the physical healing. God remove the sickness, we plead but God has a wider vision. This is reflected in Jesus journey to the cross (Luke 18:31-34). The disciples and the people of Israel were waiting for an all powerful, all conquering messiah. He would drive out the occupying forces and restore the Jewish state. Their narrow focus was on the survival of the state of Israel and no doubt their prayers went forth with a strong belief that God would avenge the nations.

But God's plan is different. He seeks the salvation of all men and seeks a relationship with all men. Jesus goes to the cross to cleanse not simply the nation of Israel but all peoples. The disciples hopes are shattered. The dream of the messiah collapsed on the cross. But Jesus rises from the dead and in that new life comes a new understanding for the disciples. A new relationship and walk begins.

In the illness of our two people, we need to ask who is God trying to touch? Who is God reaching out to heal? Lord, we pray heal these people but not my will be done but thy will be done. Lord don't just heal these people but heal those close to them, heal the nation, heal this world. Lord work out your plan and help us to see your plan.<\p>

Are we prepared to pray as the hymn writer wrote: “Even though it be the cross that changeth me”?

Do we really understand this phrase from the Lord's prayer “Thy will be done. Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”?

If we really believe in God's kingdom coming, what is the implications for the way that we live each day?

Yes, we pray for the healing of these two people. We pray that God would drive this disease from their bodies but more importantly, we pray that God would bring about that which he desires through these illnesses and reach the people that he needs to reach. May his healing be brought about in the lives of these two people and in the lives of all who interact with them and may we understand more of what God is seeking to do in our own lives and in the lives of those that we come in touch with.

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