Restore to Health – Cure the Sick: Relieve hindrances to wholeness (part two of two)
If we plant a flower or a shrub and water it daily it will grow so tall that in time we shall need a spade and a hoe to uproot it. It is just so, I think, when we commit a fault, however small, each day, and do not cure ourselves of it.
– St Teresa of Avila
Sin followed Adam and Eve out of the Garden, ready to pollute humankind and the world. A reading of Genesis 4 shows how quickly and thoroughly sin gained control: envy lead to jealousy, which lead to murder, which lead to toil, which resulted in sore muscles, blisters, cuts, creating sources of infections, disease and ultimately death….you get the picture.
In Genesis 6 we read that sickness and wickedness has so consumed the earth that God decides to start over.
And sin also starts over. Noah and his family are barely out of the ark when sin/sickness resumes. Noah gets shamefully drunk, passes out, exposes himself, and his son takes delight in bringing attention to his fall. It goes downhill from here.
God’s next address of sin’s spreading of sickness and death must be the death of death; and it is. Jesus Christ takes death into himself and removes its sting.
Illness and injury may still be experienced in our world, but it is not the final chapter.
When Jesus heals a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (Mark 3), he is expressing God’s intention for our healing. “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?” Obviously, a withered hand is not a matter of life or death, the man had survived to adulthood with it. Yet Jesus equates the man’s manageable disability with harm and death. He gives him a whole hand, restoring him to goodness and life.
God’s heart is the same today as it was on that Sabbath in the synagogue. God desires to restore to wholeness and health your every disability, even if it is slight and you’ve learned to live with it. Spend a few minutes speaking with God about your withered hand. To what part of you does Jesus want to bring healing and wholeness?
Healing begins with diagnosis, naming your disease. (Did you ever notice that disease can be spelled dis-ease?) It continues with a specific treatment plan consisting of gratitude, persistent exposure to the light, community support and gratitude, exposure to the light, community support and gratitude….
Gratitude. It is God’s love that makes you aware of the sin that keeps you sick, God brings it to the surface so it can be addressed.
Exposure to the light. Offering your sin/sick area to God, asking for the power of the Holy Spirit to heal and correct. Every time you notice a flare up, return to God with a confession of your need for healing, not an accusation against yourself or against God. Maintain a spirit of humility and gratefulness.
Community support. As Henri Nouwen says in Road to Daybreak, “..demons love darkness and hiddenness. Inner fears and struggles which remain isolated develop great power over us. But when we talk about them in a spirit of trust, they they can be looked at and dealt with. Once brought into the light of mutual love, demons lose their power and quickly leave us.”
We will not know complete healing and restoration until perfection in glory, but it is God’s heart to begin that process now, that is part of the good news – heaven is near, now.
(This article is based on material from the “Shaped at the Garden” Retreat. For more information about participating in this retreat, contact me or refer to the upcoming events page.)