Acts 14:8 In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And the man sprang up and began to walk.
What stands out for me this morning is v.9 “seeing that he had faith to be healed”. Then, of course, the man was indeed healed. There is a connection between the man’s faith and his healing. There are other instances of this sort of connection in the new testament. While I appreciate this relationship between one’s faith and one’s healing it also gives me pause, mostly because there is the potential abuse of this relationship.
There are those within the Christian community who want to make healing something formulaic. If we have enough faith, if we pray in a particular way, if we truly confess our sins, if we ask the right person to do the praying, if we ___________ then healing will come. Well, God doesn’t work that way. There is no formula in scripture that guarantees a miraculous act of God.
But then there are others who have lost faith in healing altogether. They don’t even bother praying for healing because they no longer believe God heals. They have given up entirely. That, in my opinion, is also a mistake.
And so we are left living in the tension of these two paradigms. No, God does not heal on command. There is no set of rules that, if followed, can assure healing. But it’s also a mistake to suggest God no longer heals. God still performs miracles every day.
This morning I’m struggling with illness that has lingered for almost two weeks now – much longer than I’ve ever experienced this cold/flu/bronchitis/whatever this is. I’ve been praying for healing since day one. Others have been praying for me. Yet I’m still sick. So this morning I’m asking God for faith to be healed. Restore me, O God. Restore all of us who struggle will illness today. Heal us in mind/body/spirit as you designed us to be. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.