Healing Part 2

If you are a person of faith you cannot help but wonder now and then if God has an interesting sense of timing or if things are truly coincidences.  As for me, I’ll error on the side of God’s timing.

On January 16 I wrote a blog post on healing.  You can see it below.  I highly recommend it…it is brilliant 🙂  That same day I received news that one of my best friends is going to have to have surgery to remove a spot from his one remaining kidney.  It was not unexpected news and it could have been worse.  That said, it wasn’t what I and many others from Lighthouse were praying for.  Also that day I received notice that a family member of mine had a mass on his pancreas.  I’ve been praying daily and seriously since.  Today I heard it is likely cancer but it is small and in a good spot, whatever that means.  It was not unexpected news again and it could have been worse.  That said, it wasn’t what I was praying for.

This morning I prayed over a new friend.  He is having some fairly serious issues with his shoulder and neck.  I laid my hands on both and prayed boldly.  I prayed that God would heal whatever is causing the pain.  “I know you can,” I said.  “I believe from the bottom of my heart that you can!”  Truth is, I’ve seen God do it.  Not always.  Not even often.  But God heals. 

This faith of ours is so interesting.  Sometimes God heals supernaturally.  Sometimes He works through doctors and medicine.  Sometimes He decides to just walk with us through the struggle and pain.  One thing is for sure, I wrote about it in the other post… God is always with us and ultimately the greatest miracle is after death, the promise of new life.  Soooo, once in a while, like today, I try to figure out what God is up to.  In my life and in the lives of others I care about.  Go ahead, try and figure it out.  You won’t.  Nope, you won’t. 

Then earlier today I read these words from Isaiah 40…

“Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on the wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

I’m not sure what to say.  Sometimes it is better to just keep you mouth shut and your fingers still…and let God do the speaking.

See you at the Lighthouse,

Dale

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God Heals

From my morning devotions…God heals.  I read the story of Naaman the Syrian this morning in 2 Kings 5.  He had leprosy.  He was sent to Elisha who said go wash yourself 7 times in the Jordan River.  Namaan thought to himself, how stupid is that.  I wash all the time!  Syria’s rivers are better than Israel’s.  But his advisers told him, “Don’t be so proud, you idiot!”  Yes, I’m paraphrasing 🙂  If he told you to do something complicated you would.  Just give it a try.  And he was healed.

Now, I’ve prayed for healing for many, many people.  Most were not healed the way I was hoping.  A few were.  That’s God’s business.  He is the one who heals.  Not me.  Not you.  The miracles of Jesus have always fascinated me.  The most helpful thing I have ever read on miracles was from Philip Yancey in the book, “The Jesus I Never Knew.”  It is one of the best books I’ve ever read about Jesus.  He says:

    As he strode through life Jesus used supernatural power to set right what was wrong. Every physical healing pointed back to a time in Eden when physcial bodies did not go blind, get crippled, or bleed nonstop for twelve years and also pointed forward to a time of recreation to come. The miracles he did perform, breaking as they did the chains of sickness and death, give me a glimpse of what the world was meant to be and instill hope that one day God will right its wrongs. To put it mildly, God is no more satisfied with this earth than we are, Jesus miracles offer a hint of what God intends to do about it.

    Some see miracles as the implausible suspension of the laws of the physical universe. As signs, though, they serve just the opposite function. Death, decay, entropy, and destruction are the true suspensions of God’s laws – miracles are the early glimpses of restoration. In the worlds of Jurgen Moltmann; “Jesus’ healings are not supernatural healings in a natural world. They are the only truly ‘natural’ things in a world that is unnatural, demonized and wounded.”

Yesterday and this morning I’ve been reflecting on how God has used me over the years to bring healing into the lives of people.  God healed, I just happened to be there.  There’s been healing of body, mind, spirit, relationships, etc…  In the last year the tables have been turned.  I’m receiving healing from some of the same people I’ve walked through life with.  Still today!  How cool is that?  God is good!

What Yancey says is that miracles are simply glimpses of what God intended in creation and what things will be like in heaven.  That’s cool too!  One of the things I’ve learned, God heals everyone who knows and trusts in Jesus.  It just may not be the healing we were praying for at the time.  But in the end, the greatest healing and miracle will come when we join others in singing praises in heaven to the one who created and redeemed us.  Then we will bow and realize there are no more tears or pains or sorrows, and no more death.  Then we will skip and jump and sing and eat at the great banquet (that’s what I am excited for)…..FOREVER!

God heals.  Pray boldly.  Trust deeply.  Never loose hope.  And remember, this is not your home.  This is not your home!  Your home is in heaven!!!

See you at the Lighthouse…and at the buffet table!

Dale

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all.  I’m curious what today represents to you.  Truth be told, it is a day just like all others.  24 hours.  No more, no less.  A cold day if you live in Fargo.  Just like so many this winter.  For me it’s about college football, even though my team, the Michigan Wolverines aren’t playing.  Go blue!  For many, I suspect, it is about recovering from last’s night celebration.  Whatever this day means to you, I wish you a Happy New Year!

So, do we just turn a page on the calendar today.  Perhaps a new page in the book of life.  For some perhaps it is a new chapter.  I have a good friend who has spoke often in the last months about starting a new book.  “Don’t start a new chapter, start a new book!”  She says.  How interesting.

Many of you know this last year was “the best of times and the worst of times” for me.  Mostly worst.  As I sit here during the Rose Bowl and write I know there were many losses last year.  A job.  Some friends, so it seems.  For a while, my dignity. 

Yet in the death of the old there is also new life.  A new start.  A new calling with purpose.  New friendships.  Deepened friendships.  A bright future.  God’s grace.  Redemption.  Hope.

In the recovery community I hear people talk about being thankful for their struggles and addiction because it has led to their present place in life.  I’m getting there, but not there yet I think.  But I do feel peace and serenity.  I see God at work and I hear His call.  I know that out of death God creates something new.  Sometimes it just means more than closing one chapter and starting another.  It sometimes means starting a new book. 

How about you?  How are you on this day?  No matter where you are, I want you to know God is not through with you yet.  God continues to work, sometimes in big ways, often behind the scenes.  It may be a new page, another chapter, or a new book, whatever the case I know that God’s faithfulness is sure.  In the death of the old, there is always the promise of new life!  God turns our struggles into victory.  Our sorrows into joy.  Remember, His mercies are new every day.

So.  Happy New Year……and for me;

Chapter 1

See you at the Lighthouse,

Dale

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