Restore to Health – Cure the sick: relieve hindrances to wholeness (part one of two)
He showed me also the condition of a soul in sin, utterly powerless, like a person tied and bound and blindfold, who, though anxious to see, yet cannot, being unable to walk or to hear, and in grievous obscurity. St. Teresa of Avila
God continues to tend the garden of your soul by addressing the issues that hinder health and wholeness. (See post “How does your Garden Grow?”)
With Adam and Eve’s choice in the Garden, sin was unleashed and its death march began. Its outcome is sickness, disease and destruction. Its intention is separation from health, wholeness and life. It has had untold centuries to advance in its destruction. But hear the good news, with the intervention of Jesus Christ sin can now be turned back.
In sending out his twelve disciples with the instruction to cure the sick (Matthew 10:7), Jesus reveals God’s heart toward the people God loves. God desires to restore us to a vital, energetic, whole and healthy life.
The disciples following Jesus around saw him do this very thing. He touched people and their sight was restored, spoke to them and they were no longer lame. Now with the sending of the twelve, Jesus is initiating God’s plan to continue the work of curing and healing. The Holy Spirit is in the business of restoring you and me to health.
God’s given advances in medicine address a lot of the physical healing that needs to be corrected. (Sadly, not all.) But in this essay, I’d like to consider the healing God desires for us in our spirits, minds and hearts.
After the fall we see sin’s first “sick” outcome – “self-focus”.
Before the fall Adam and Eve’s attentions were focused on God, they knew God’s voice and God’s presence. They walked with God and with each other in the garden with complete ease and delight. (Genesis 2:25: “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”)
After the fall their gaze shifted, they noticed themselves, they became self aware. They saw they were naked. They’d always been naked, they just weren’t concerned about themselves previously. With self-knowledge came self-consciousness; shame and fear entered the picture. (Genesis 3:8,10: “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God…I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked.”)
Before, God had been the focus of their attention, now self became their primary focus. Self became the reference point of all relationships. Self became the center of the universe. Self had to be protected. Threat was now an option. Mistrust entered the scene.
This process blossoms into pride, an independence from God and others, that leads to a whole series of hindrances to wholeness….in your life and in the lives of others.
In part two of this article we’ll follow Adam and Eve out of the garden and see what sicknesses sin has up its sleeve, ready to unleash.