About this time of year, I like to reflect on where I am right now.
The seasons are starting to change, and that always makes me remember.
It takes me back to two years ago, when I was horribly ill with who-knows-what. We still don’t know what it was that left me sick for three months straight.
It also takes me back to 5 years ago (and earlier in my life), when I was extremely sick off-and-on, but more on than off with chronic, sports-induced, allergy-induced asthma.
Right now, I am healthy as can be and about to run my first marathon in just a week.
So what brought me to where I am today?
The answer is simple, and in Christian circles today it can be pushed under the rug.
I was healed. Twice. No, more than twice.
Let me explain.
Let’s go back to my junior year of high school. Since I was young, I struggled with asthma. It flared up now and then, but it especially got worse my later years of high school. Like, way worse. I missed so much school, I was on a nebulizer for weeks at a time, I had several runs to the hospital for oxygen. And let’s all remember that I lived in Niger at that time- desert=dust=allergies=asthma.
Here are some things I wrote in my journal the year it really became a struggle for me:
2 asthma attacks today- I had to take my inhaler multiple times. Lord, for whatever reason, you gave me asthma, and I want you to use that for You. Make it a strength, because I can’t do anything with this weakness. (Nov 26, 07)
Let me try to explain what an asthma attack is like – First, my lungs are tight. Sometimes it feels like someone is wringing out my lungs- and lungs aren’t supposed to be wrung. Sometimes it feels like there is a tennis ball in my throat, and it blocks all the air flow. Or sometimes it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I want to take in a breath of air, but my lungs just can’t go up to fill. (Nov 25, 08)
I surrender all…I went to church tonight. Yesterday I could hardly walk because of my breathing, but then I am singing loudly in church, praising God. This is hard to explain. I started thinking about healing. And I knew- I just knew that I’m not healed from this asthma because I don’t ask. And when I do ask, I don’t believe. I was sooo nervous when the pastor started talking about healing. I was afraid of being healed! In my mind, I say, “Pray for me…that I will get better.” But I never ask for healing. It’s almost like I need this disease…it’s part of my comfort zone. I think that one of my biggest weaknesses is the fact that I am too scared to leave my weaknesses! And what I serious mistake…I need to surrender all. (Nov 26, 08)
After that night, I looked up every Bible verse I could find that related to healing (1 Corinthian 12:4-31, Proverbs 16:24, Prov 12:18, Ps 30:2, Ps 41:4, Ps. 103:3, Ecc 3, James 5:16, 1 Peter 2:24, ). I poured over Scripture and prayed about healing, and why most Baptist churches don’t believe in it. I really wrestled with this for a while. And here is what the Holy Spirit led me to:
Faith is the things that are hoped, the things that are not yet seen. It takes faith say a prayer, and believe on it to be answered. Asking for healing takes great faith.
Asking for healing is not always met with the results we hope for. When I asked to be healed from asthma, God answered that prayer with a resounding yes. For almost five years, I have not had one single breathing problem- asthma related or not. However, when I was sick again my junior year of college, I prayed for three straight months for healing– with no immediate, miraculous results. And sometimes healing doesn’t come on this side of heaven. It’s hard to believe and have faith in that, but it’s true.
The other thing that I believe about healing is that it doesn’t have to be miraculous. Having my asthma taken away was certainly a miracle. The lame walking and the blind seeing is a miracle. But emerging from gallbladder surgery or getting over a cold or having that scrape heal over with new skin is also healing. Let’s stop making it only the miraculous things that are ‘healings’. When our bodies heal from the flu, that is also healing, and God was sovereign over that. When you are broken-hearted from that break up, or a death of a loved one, or the pain of a marriage falling apart, God brings healing to that situation, too.
One time I was told that I have the gift of healing. This scared me half to death. But more and more often I have seen that this might in fact, be true. No, I have never taken someone’s crutches and watched them walk (or dance!) away from me. But when you are in a situation with the brokenhearted, and you can bring some semblance of peace: that is bringing healing to that situation.
So next time you cringe at the word ‘healing’, please consider that God is greater than our denominational beliefs. God does choose to heal- it might be a miraculous healing through faith, it might be an ‘explainable’ healing through a doctors prescription medication, or it might be an emotional/mental healing through overcoming that battle with sin or that grief of the passing of a loved one.
Yes, my friends, I do believe in healing.
Let’s give God the glory.