There is this wonderful song which goes “I am the Lord who healeth thee.” It is written in old English, and the words have always been soothing to my soul. I will sing it often, letting the message sink deep into my bones.
Do I believe in healing?
Yes, I do.
I’ve written about this before and have wrestled with this question. I am a chaplain. I would love to be a healer.
To some extent I believe I am. Words we speak, messages we give, our touch can all have a healing presence.
The struggle comes when those who are very sick are not healed. Rachel Held Evans, who died last week at the age of 37 is one of those. Many people prayed for her healing.
Ironically, we happened to listen to one of her videos where she spoke of this very thing. And she had come to the place where she believed healing was for everyone, but a cure was not.
This spoke to me, and I think of where I work, where the goal is to cure, for people to get better, to go home again. The curative model is one doctors learn well, and they work hard at restoring physical health to the patients they treat.
But one doctor said it well to me in recent weeks… we are all going to die, I don’t think we will get out of it.
In fact, Doris Day died today at the wonderful age of 97. I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised, and she will be honoured on the news tonight, and we will remember all she contributed to society.
A cure, and yes we pray for it, is always temporary.
But healing is for all! Healing is for the soul, for the spirit, and yes, sometimes for the body. Healing washes over us, like a soothing ointment, healing the heart.
I looked up Bible verses today on healing and there are many. I think this is where the confusion comes in because there are groups of people that truly believe that if you believe, if you have enough faith, you will be healed. (Physically!)
And yes, this happens sometime. God is a God of miracles! I’ve known those to be at the brink of death and come back to live wonderful lives. But not all. Even Jesus, who healed the sick, did not heal everyone.
What is far more important is trust and surrender, as hard as those actions can be in the midst of a devastating illness, or uncertainty. Even Jesus asked for mercy, before he died… he was overwhelmed with what lay before him. He gave his life… and showed us the way of suffering.
There is a much bigger picture that gives us hope. When my mom was dying there were those who told her she would be healed. She understood that they didn’t want her to leave, but she was more than ready to go. She looked forward to her heavenly home, where she would be truly healed and suffer no more.
I am grateful for the miracles, for the cures. It is good to live well, to live fully, to live joyously with every day we are given. When I think of all the natural medicines our Creator has provided to help us feel well… this is an area which really interests me… I am grateful! I use lavender to sleep and for calming, and peppermint for headaches. I found a wonderful tea that helps with joint pain, made locally. There are many resources and wonderful teachers out there.
I am grateful for medicine, and for those who spend years learning to be doctors and nurses to help those who are sick. I am grateful for cures for polio and measles, and we all pray for a cure for cancer.
I am also grateful that I can participate in spiritual care – providing care for people’s souls and hearts. This is a wonderful privilege.
And so today’s picture, a beautiful verse which says it all:
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Ps. 73:26
May you know that healing touch, today.