(This was originally posted on 12/19/11 on a previous blog)
God is so good. I stand in awe and wonder as He continues to blow me away with His faithfulness and love. Gosh, we truly have an amazing Dad.
There are some things about Jesus that I don’t understand… and I probably never will. If you know me, you’ve probably realized that I have some big questions about faith that in the past have thrown me into a whirlwind of questioning and at times doubt. But God has been carefully redeeming those questions and using them for good as He guides me to speak into the lives of others and meet them where they’re at. I have lots of stories about all of this and could go on for a while about how sweet God’s redemption is, but I’m gonna keep it simple for now.
Basically, the Lord is bringing me to places of peace – places where I can simply rest in Him and not have all the answers figured out. After all, I’m His precious daughter and He wants nothing but good things for me. All I have to do is rest in that knowledge, trust in Him, and realize how much He loves me. I don’t have to know everything (and my finite mind wouldn’t even be able to fully comprehend it); I just have to know that He loves me… and everything else will flow from that place of intimacy. So in essence, I’m learning to embrace the beautiful mystery of God and simply trust in Him.
It’s not always easy for those of us who like to have a plan, have it figured out, and at times would rather take control of the situation in order to somewhat predict the end. But knowing the end is boring. Seeing all the steps before they happen is anti-climactic. I like adventure. I want to be on a wild ride with Jesus – fully dependent on Him and trusting that His plans are better and His ways are higher (Isaiah 55:8-9). It’s hard… but it’s good. Resting in the Lord, releasing control, taking God out of the box we’ve placed Him in – it’s good. I always say without challenges there’d be no growth… so I might regret this later on, but bring on the challenges, Jesus. 🙂
One of the questions I’ve had for a while is the whole issue of healing. I could go on for a long time about this and quote lots of scripture and tell lots of stories. However, I’m going to again attempt to keep this simple. I fully, 100% believe in divine healing. I’ve seen it happen… time and time again. Jesus heals people. Jesus uses us to heal people, for the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is alive and active within us. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you” (Romans 8:11). That’s pretty legit. Jesus also said we will do greater things than Him on this earth. “‘I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father’” (John 14:12). Wow. Our bodies are healed and restored in heaven, so all we’re doing is calling that down. Bringing heaven to earth. Bringing kingdom. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).
So… what did Jesus do? He healed people. Lots of them. Everywhere He went, healings broke out. If we are called to be Jesus in this world, if we have the Spirit of God living inside of us, if we are sons and daughters of the Most High and have power and authority on earth… then we should be doing the same things He did. And greater. That’s crazy. That’s something I don’t fully understand… but again, I’m learning to embrace the mystery.
So if we’re called to heal people – let’s do the darn thing. Let’s step out in faith and trust and start praying for healing. That’s what Jesus did. Let’s follow suit.
Here’s where my human mind comes in. What happens when we pray and we don’t see anything happen. What happens when we pray and someone is not healed. Let’s be honest – that happens. Well, that’s something that I am continually taking to the Lord. Maybe the healing will come later. Maybe there are strongholds or barriers in that person’s life. Maybe my physical eyes can’t see what’s actually happening in the spiritual. Maybe I just have to suck it up, humble myself, and say, “Jesus – I don’t understand. Seriously – I don’t get it. But I am going to choose to say yes. I’m going to continue stepping out in faith and trust and praying for healing. Whether I understand it or not, whether I see a change or not, I will not be deterred. You are faithful. You are good. You are full of love. Heck, you ARE love. You don’t want to see your children in pain. You are the ultimate Healer, the great Physician. I trust in you. So regardless of my flesh, I will continue praying with the same faith and fervency each and every time. Because I trust in you, and I love you. And I know you love me and the people I’m praying for way more than I could ever comprehend.” So yea – it’s been a battle. It’s hard to continue stepping out each time when my human eyes can’t see the effects. But it’s been growing me in faith. Growing me in trust. Allowing me to release control, release understanding, and lay it all before my Father. “Have your way, Jesus. I am yours. Use me.”
The funny thing about healing is that even though I don’t get it, and I’ve had many questions about it for years, God has been relentlessly prompting me to pray for healing for people almost daily. Seriously – if someone says they’re sick or in pain or struggling with something, the Spirit instantly convicts me to pray for them. Right there, in that moment, on the spot. I can’t get away from it. And honestly, I wouldn’t want to. Sometimes praying over people in the moment can be weird. Sometimes it’s awkward. Sometimes my flesh tells me I shouldn’t do it. I would rather just tell them I’ll pray for them later. What will they think? How will they react? What if nothing happens? They seem busy – I don’t want to take up their time. Honestly, I’m busy. All of these thoughts, all of these excuses, all of these lies flood into me. But the Spirit has continued prompting me to step out and to pray. Regardless of anything else that could happen – just pray. In all honestly, it doesn’t matter what people think. It’s worth the risk to step out and see God move rather than not stepping out at all. It’s so worth it. And it’s so good.
I’ll admit, I don’t listen to God every time He prompts me to do this. Yup, I’m a disobedient daughter at times. But I’m learning. I’m learning to fight the urge to run and instead trust in my Daddy. Trust that He has GOOD things in store – both for the person I’m praying for and for me. It is such a blessing to be a tool for Jesus. I have found no other joy as pure or as complete as being smack dab in the middle of God’s will and being used for His purposes in this world. Seriously – it’s incredible. So why miss out on an opportunity to bless others, show them God’s love and power in a tangible way, and be blessed abundantly in the process? I don’t know, I ask myself that often as well. I’m learning.
So all of this thought, theory, and revelation, aside – I want to share a story. A testimony. A beautiful picture of the Father’s love poured out to one of His daughters. All we’re called to be are willing vessels for the Spirit to flow through and move from. Yes. This is the way it was meant to be. This is kingdom on earth.
Just the other day I was in my apartment and getting ready to head out. I was in a rush (as always) and trying to grab a bite to eat before I left. One of my roommates was sitting at the table looking pretty down. I asked her if she was ok and she told me that she was sick – she’d been struggling with a headache, fatigue, and nausea most of the day. She’d left work early and had been trying to rest up in order to feel better. Instantly, my heart broke and yearned for her to be well. “Pray for her,” the Spirit said to me. “Pray right now.” Of course, my mind started its whirlwind of excuses of why I shouldn’t pray. I’ll pray for her later. She’ll probably feel better soon. What if nothing happens. I don’t have time. Lies, all lies! Thankfully, Jesus persisted and I relented. Thank you, Lord! I went over and asked if I could pray for her. She gratefully accepted and I laid hands on her and prayed. It was a simple prayer, but I felt the Spirit’s presence. I finished and she thanked me, we talked a little more about life, and then we both headed out. Nothing physically changed. Nothing looked any different. But I had prayed. And she had been blessed.
Fast-forward a few days. It’s now Monday and I haven’t seen her all weekend (she was out of town for a wedding.) The first thing she told me this morning made me want to cry and leap for joy. “Jenny, guess what happened. Remember when you prayed for me on Thursday? Well about an hour after you prayed, I was completely better.”
What?! I thought to myself. Seriously? God, YOU ARE SO GOOD!! “Wait, so you haven’t had any other symptoms since then? You’re not sick anymore? You’re totally better?” I asked in amazement.
“Yea, I’m totally fine now!” came her response.
Holy goodness, Jesus. YOU ROCK!! I was completely overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and just began praising God. HE IS SO GOOD!! He is the great Healer. He wants to see His children made well. And He wants to use us in the process. What if I had ignored that promoting? What if I had listened to the lies? I would have missed out on witnessing a beautiful miracle, and my roommate would have as well. When we step out in faith and trust, I believe God will abundantly bless us with faithfulness and provision. It doesn’t look the same every time, and sometimes we may never see the fruit of what happens when we pour out. But this was just God’s little way of saying, “Good job baby. I’m proud of you. Look what I can do when you say yes to me.” AH, I LOVE JESUS!!
So, be encouraged. Jesus is alive and at work. And He wants to use us to bless people. Ultimately, it’s gonna bless our socks off as well when He moves. Even if we don’t see the practical fruit… it’s there. God is always working. He is always moving. He is always restoring, renewing, and redeeming. Let’s jump on this train and see where the Lord takes us. I may not know where it’s going but I can promise you, it’s gonna be good.
“‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give’” (JESUS in Matthew 10:8).