Three years ago, I was deciding between two options: Pain or Paralysis.
Which one would you choose?
Option 1 meant debilitating pain, lots of meds, laying on the couch in the fetal position trying not to take too deep a breath because you don’t want to wake up the pain monster inside, and filling your calendar with one doctor/therapy/acupuncture appointment after another.
Option 2 meant surgeons going into your abdomen to pull out 8 tiny metal coils left behind from a previous surgery. You should know this surgery had a 97% chance of paralyzing your left leg.
So, which one would you choose?
I didn’t go with either of those.
Instead, 3 years ago today, I walked away from those options and walked into a room at church.
Opening the door, I was greeted with equal parts sunlight and hope.
Lavish and Crazy. Three years later, I stand by those words with a whole bunch of awe and gratitude and “what the heck” mixed in.
I experienced a miracle – a full, miraculous healing.
It doesn’t make sense to me either. To be honest, it feels uneven in this wonky world to have been healed when I see and love so many others that I want healed.
Still, the past 365 days of living, breathing, walking, loving, cooking, driving, celebrating, listening, crying, lighting candles, singing, watching, grieving, yelling, praying, laughing, cleaning, traveling, hiking, sleeping, waking up, hugging, writing, learning, cheering, consoling, baking have felt like a lavish and crazy, what the heck kind of gift.
We’ve learned a lot together over the years, haven’t we? We’ve learned about waiting and trusting and hope.
I wonder what your healing looks like. Have you brought it to Jesus yet?
One thing I’ve learned about hope and healing this year is to live IN expectation, not with expectation.
My own expectations with my own timetable and my limited vision have held me back.
Living IN the promise of God, believing He works in the abundantly more kind of way pushes me out in the wild wind of hope, up on my tippy toes, searching the horizon.
In Mark 5:34, Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
In Luke 7:50, He says, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Then, in Luke 17:19 “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.”
And again, in Mark 10:52 “Go, your faith has healed you.”
In each of these stories; Jesus has just healed someone and then told them to go and live life because their faith had healed them.
The back stories are all different. The woman in the Gospel of Mark suffered from bleeding for a dozen years. In the Gospel of Luke, a known adulteress barges into a dinner hoping for a blank slate from Jesus. Later in Mark, we hear of a blind beggar seeking sight. And in Luke, the group of lepers asking for healing.
The approach in each situation is vastly different. The hemorrhagic woman quietly touches the edge of Jesus cloak. The blind beggar screams out repeatedly in front of everyone. The adulteress walks right into a house full of her biggest critics. And the lepers, a big ol’ group of them, approach Jesus as one.
How would you approach Jesus for healing?
Why would you approach Jesus for healing?
Why don’t you approach Jesus for healing?
RUN OFF TO MEET JESUS. TELL HIM THE PROBLEM. ASK HIM WHY HE DIDN’T COME SOONER, WHY HE ALLOWED THAT AWFUL THING TO HAPPEN. AND THEN BE PREPARED FOR A SURPRISING RESPONSE. I CAN’T PREDICT WHAT THE RESPONSE WILL BE, FOR THE VERY GOOD REASON THAT IT IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS A SURPRISE. BUT I DO KNOW THE SHAPE IT WILL TAKE. JESUS WILL MEET YOUR PROBLEM WITH SOME NEW PART OF GOD’S FUTURE THAT CAN AND WILL BURST INTO YOUR PRESENT TIME, INTO THE MESS AND GRIEF, WITH GOOD NEWS, WITH HOPE, WITH NEW POSSIBILITIES. – N.T. WRIGHT
Happy Anniversary to all of us.