I've mentioned healing before (somewhere, not sure if it was in my blog) and pondered the workings and importance of it. I'm still pondering and may never really get my head around it - and I've yet to find anyone that can truly say they have.
As many of you know, I lost my wife to cancer 2 years ago. I nursed her for 2 years and in that time we read so many books and had so much prayer and did so many bible studies that it exhausts me to think about it.
Previous to that, I was involved with the charismatic and pentecostal movements from the early 80s and was very familiar with healing, and even had a couple of minor things healed myself, and I've seen some pretty awesome miracles. So when Min got sick, I can safely say we were no spring chickens at this sort of thing.
So with absolute determination and all the faith we could muster, we held on to her healing till the very end. Through all this my son decided that if mum wasn't healed then God obviously didn't exist or didn't care, and who can blame him! After all, we built up his expectations!
So, after a couple of years down the track, what do I think?
Firstly, God heals! No doubt about it, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. But obviously not all the time, and obviously not for any of the reasons that preachers have offered over the last 100 years or so. Would I still pray for healing? Sure, but not like I used to.
Here's the crunch, from my perspective, at the moment (all things being subject to change, lol).
Jesus healed heaps of people, the apostles healed quite a few, and things sort of fizzled over the years until they became the realm of super-christians or mystics etc. They became a huge focus again after the great revivals of the 1800s. And rightly so, as it seemed God was awakening the power of the gospel again.
But as all things miraculous, they have become the focus. For example, the glory movement, is obsessed with seeing God "manifest" his presence with clouds, gold dust, and now gems. They are of course, quite amazing, and for many they are a great source of inspiration and faith. But they have nothing to do with relationship. Its like a man giving his wife endless gifts and dazzling her with fancy trinkets, to the point where she forgets about who he is and just wants more trinkets.
You can see it over and over in so many churches, only to have it fizzle out and leave the faithful grasping for more until it all eventually turns to custard.
I think the same is happening with healing. But the thing with healing is its very much a part of our being - our physicality, and illness affects our mental state and those around us. So no wonder its still an important "gift" from God, as it brings life and relief to so many.
BUT (you knew that was coming, didn't you!), seeing as our whole purpose is union with God, and to live in and through love and love alone, is healing really such an important issue? Don't get me wrong (re-read the last few paragraphs thanks), but when we go out "on purpose" to heal people, are we missing the point?
I'm thinking that if we live to love people, then THAT alone is all we are called to do. If we are living and constantly allowing our mind to be renewed to that love, then we will feel what God is really doing in every unique situation in every unique person's life. And sometimes that will involve physical healing, and sometimes it won't.
If our sole purpose is to love, and healing happens, then more has been achieved than just trying to heal people. In fact, far more than just scoring a notch in your bible and making someone happy for a little while. By loving - WITH NO EXPECTATION - we have done more than any amount of healings and miracles would ever achieve.
So what am I saying?
Healing and miracles are "good to have", they are "icing on the cake", and not to be chased after, or even made a priority. They are something that God sorts out as he sees what any individual really needs to benefit his union with them. They are not like rubbing the lamp in the hope that the genie of healing will grant our wishes - something that actually makes a mockery of Holy Spirit.
I don't pray for healing for everyone, in fact I think it shows lack of integrity to just pray to heal something not knowing if it will work or not. I know all the doctrines and scriptures, and I've seen the results (please re-read the beginning of this post), but love is the thing, beginning and end. I no longer want to assume anything in how God works, and healing is just one little arrow in his arsenal of love.
Healing is cool, but love is better.