I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4 (WEB)
When I think and pray about healing, whether it be for a specific person in their body, mind, or spirit or a country or the world, I immediately think of this passage in Revelation. The book of Revelation for me is not primarily an ‘end time’ book. It is a letter to the Church. It is something for me now.
If you live in this world, you have suffered losses. ‘Suffer’ is the correct word. Any loss brings pain because it leaves a mark, a wound, a scar.
- I can remember as a 5- or 6-year-old hearing the words, “I don’t like you any more!” It was probably followed by the person sticking their tongue out! A wound to a child’s heart.
- My grandfather who was fun and the most comfortable adult around me, suddenly died when I was 15.
- Four friends went out to a concert one night. Their car was hit head on by a woman who was driving in the wrong lane. Three of them died. They were 16-years-old.
- My father was laid off work. He had worked all of his life from farm to factory, owning a service station, to working for a trucking company. Christmas that year was non-existent. Then a year or so from retirement, Dad was driving his truck when a teen threw a rock off of an overpass which struck his windshield. He ended up with a cornea transplant and a medical disability. A tremendous loss for a man who was hard-wired to always work to provide for his family.
- Just a few months short of 20 years of marriage, I am told “I don’t want to be married to you any more.” Divorce is an especially difficult loss. If you have children, you will never achieve closure and you will just have to live with that. Healing becomes vital.
- At the age of 17 and after a five-year battle, my son, James, died from cancer. He lived more in 17 years than I have in over 50. His life was characterized with courage and kindness. His legacy lives on in the friends and family that he touched.
- Even having gone through the death of a child, the care of my parents in their last years and their deaths was very difficult on many levels and difficult losses.
Healing has many facets. Most of us tend think very one-dimensional and focus our prayers on physical healing. It is, after all, easy to quanitate the ‘miracle’ when a physical healing comes. It also pushes Death back. We want Death to lose. We forget that as a child of God, Death has already lost and the physical act of death is only a door leading to eternal life with God.
Healing is about Jesus. It is receiving the miracle for which Jesus died. All the facets of healing: forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, and righteousness all come through Jesus. Jesus said that He came as a physician to the sick (Matthew 9:12) that the well did not need Him. I need Jesus and His healing. It is in His healing in my life here that gives me a glimpse into the extravagant eternal plan that God has already established for me.
Step closer to Jesus (there’s always more) and receive the healing that is greater than the physical moment.
(This post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival on healing.)