It came unexpectedly. Not unlike a dense fog that lifts gradually over the course of hours.
You led me in our predawn time yesterday to begin a study of Your healing power, Lord. I thought, “Wow… cool.” I began in the first of the four Gospel accounts — the book of Matthew.
The “assignment” You whispered to me was this: “Write down each account of My healing ‘encounters’ with people. Notice each person’s condition. Notice each person’s thoughts, feelings and actions before the healing. Notice what I said and did. Notice the outcomes.”
I didn’t get very far. I didn’t realize until later why.
The first account was of a man with leprosy. He came and knelt at Your feet, Lord. Then he said:
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2)
Your Word says our words come out of whatever fills our hearts (Matthew 12:34). What fills our hearts? Our instinctive response might be feelings. But at the “heart” of our feelings are our beliefs.
So, what did this man with leprosy actually believe? I came up with four things that seemed obvious, based on his actual words and the boldness with which he spoke them:
He believed You are The Lord, with sovereignty over everything… even his illness.
He believed You are all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for You.
He believed You are approachable. Willing to draw close to us and let us draw close to You… whatever state we may be in.
He believed You are able to heal… IF You are willing.
So what happened? He believed. You were willing. And he was healed!
I have been visiting various churches lately on Sunday mornings, enjoying the privilege of worshiping You with many different people who love You. People of different colors and backgrounds who come before You in different ways of worship.
Yesterday, You prompted me to go to one church in particular. A place where Your Light shines brightly through the dark skins of those who gather there!
As we began to worship, we were asked to lift up our hands as we poured out our hearts to you in prayer and praise. The pastor began to speak about healing that was needed. Healing in the people gathered in the sanctuary.
He invited us to ask You for whatever healing we might need.
Surely my need was a small one compared to others’, Lord. I had a sharp pain in my neck and left shoulder. It had lasted for almost a week and had grown progressively worse.
I couldn’t look up, lie down or rise up from bed without supporting my head with my right hand. Pain had grown constant enough that I was using some aspirin each day for relief.
When the pastor said to ask You for the healing we needed, I did. It was more a statement of fact than a real request.
“I could really use Your healing in my neck and shoulder, Lord.”
Sometime later, I was on my feet praising You with my eyes closed. I felt someone place their hand on my left shoulder. I had no idea who it was, but she had drawn near and prayed to You for me.
I opened my eyes just a slit and saw the dress she wore… but not her face. I had seen that dress earlier. She had not been sitting next to me. I realized she had come from the other side of the sanctuary to pray specifically for me.
In that moment, I remembered the man with leprosy. So I said in my spirit:
“I know You can heal me, Lord… if you are willing.”
The pain remained when I left the service. I didn’t think about it again the rest of the day. Or when I went to bed. I didn’t think about the pain again until this morning.
When I realized I had received my “Leprosy Moment.”
The pain was GONE! And I had complete range of motion! I could look up and down and all around without restriction!
How could I not see Your Healing Grace, Lord, everywhere I looked?!
The fog of pain which had settled in so thickly had lifted… dissipating altogether. Like fog does in the natural, when the sun “burns” it off.
“After me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
Neck and shoulder pain. A small thing, perhaps, when compared to the bigger things I (and others) have faced and are facing and will face in the future.
But truthfully, Lord: Is any touch from You ever really small???
Gratefully and joyfully pain-free… 🙂 🙂 🙂