What comes to mind when you think of healing? Does the image in your head include doctors, nurses, surgery, medicine? Do you think about pastors, elders, and anointing oil?

If the first image, of medical personnel, comes to mind, you’re not wrong. Doctors are frequently used by God to bring healing to those who are sick and hurting. If your image of healing includes faith workers and anointing oil, you’re not wrong, either.

Recently, our pastor taught from Mark 1:29-39 about divine healing. Peter’s mother-in-law was seriously ill. Jesus arrived and Peter’s family immediately told Him about her illness. He healed her and she went straight to work, serving Him. 

Pastor Scooter asked, “Does God still heal?” We might answer that question with a “yes, but…” When that question becomes more specific, “Will God heal me?” we hesitate. We’re less certain.

During the service, my pastor asked me to share the story of my eye problems and explain how God intervened. In mid-December, my bathroom scales developed a problem. The light barely illuminated when I stepped on it, and the numbers were no longer visible. I changed the rechargeable batteries. No better. Regular batteries didn’t help. A vague image of the numbers was visible only if I stood on the scales until the weight was ready, hopped off, and lay on the floor.

My scale wasn’t the problem.

On a foggy day in early January, I headed to work and realized something terrifying. The fog outside was in my left eye, too. My vision was seriously blurred.   

I saw my ophthalmologist right away. Corneal edema (or swelling) had caused the blurred vision but he didn’t know what had caused the edema. Was it trauma, virus, or an as-yet-unknown cause? He prescribed anti-virals and steroid drops. My eye improved. 

Soon, I developed a different corneal problem in my right eye. More eye drops. The right eye problem quickly resolved, but the left eye didn’t heal as steadily. It improved with medication but, when the steroids were tapered, it worsened again and the possibility of a vision-losing problem was mentioned.

Most of my days are spent reading a book or on a computer. Eyesight is my primary tool, but the problem made work difficult. Early morning pain in my left eye worsened with light and my vision was blurred. Symptoms gradually improved as the day went on. I took breaks every 30 minutes or so to keep the blurriness at bay. Life felt slowed down, and it was. By the end of each day, I was exhausted by the struggle.

I did everything my doctors told me to do, but it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. According to James 5, if we, as disciples of Jesus, are sick, we should call the elders and have them pray over us. Since Scripture clearly indicates God heals through the laying on of hands, I thought He might heal me. Before I asked, though, I had to confront a serious problem of faith.

What if He didn’t heal me?

Could I deal with it if the vision loss didn’t resolve, but worsened instead? I pondered it, explored options for working blind, and considered the lives of two friends, both of whom are blind physicians and still actively working. God will make a way through, I realized, my matter what happens with my eyes.

I prayed the prayer that never fails. “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done. Even with my eyes.” Restoration of my vision was my goal, but I was willing to accept whatever God allowed. After I reached that hard place, I contacted my pastor and asked the elders to pray for my healing.

The place of surrender is the perfect place to begin prayers for healing.

Wednesday night after Bible study, Pastor Scooter called the elders to the back to discuss a matter of prayer. Then, to my surprise, he called me to the back. This wasn’t what I expected to happen, but my expectations didn’t really matter. Elders and pastor gathered around me, anointed me with oil, and prayed over me. The earth didn’t shake and I didn’t get hit with a lightning bolt of healing heat. I didn’t feel different at all.

As I drove home that night, I wondered what God had done and why I didn’t “feel” healed. My uncertainty was another opportunity to choose whatever God wanted and surrender again to His will.

The next morning, I awakened and turned on the light. It didn’t hurt. I opened my Bible and could see the pages. The laptop screen wasn’t blurred. I could see. My vision was back to normal.   

It was already improving from the treatment, but my vision took a big leap forward after the elders prayed for me, and hasn’t regressed. I continued to taper to steroid drops because that’s what must be done with steroids. My visions and my discomfort are better, but I don’t know what my cornea looks like. As a physician, healing, in this situation doesn’t simply mean better sight. It also means a normal cornea. Am I healed? I’m not sure yet. My vision is back to normal and the pain and blurriness have resolved. For now, that’s enough for me. 

Why did God intervene?

God’s intervention was not because I’m such a good person, or have superior faith, or because I belong to an amazing church. My job was to ask, believe, and obey. God intervened, however, because He is good and He chose what was best for me at this time. It’s that simple.

Does God heal everyone?

I don’t know if everyone gets healed on earth or not. Paul clearly was not healed of his thorn in the flesh, but God made a way through it. His suffering wasn’t wasted. Scripture tells us everyone is healed in heaven.

If God heals me, can I stop taking my medication?

Not necessarily. I continued with the treatment as prescribed and finished the course. I trusted our Heavenly Father to give my physician wisdom concerning further care.

Can I continue doing the same old things if God heals me? No. If our choices are sinful, they need to stop.

Healthy choices will still be necessary. We have a responsibility to care for the temple of God within us, and that includes what we eat, drink, and how we live. We need to eat a balanced diet, exercise, drink plenty of water and lower stress, as well as take our medication, but we should not ask God to heal us in order to indulge our lusts, our gluttony, or our cravings. That’s not the kind of God we serve. He does not bless sin.

Are you sick? Do you need healing? healing

Read James 5:13-19. Don’t miss the verses about confession. It’s a part of the healing process, too. The steps to healing are clear:

  1. Humble yourself.
  2. Confess your sin.
  3. Call your elders. Ask them to pray for your healing.
  4. Then, wait with expectation to see what God does.

Does God still heal? Yes, my friends. He certainly does.

healing“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” James 5:13-14

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Want to read more? Here are links to a few other posts:

Will We Make Room for God in Our Lives?

How to Trust God in Hard Times

How to Memorize Scripture

Repentance: It’s Not Optional

On Being Beloved

Daffodils: Harbingers of Hope 

Repentance and the Benefits Package

Choosing Suffering Rags Instead of Healing

If We’ve Been Liberated Why Don’t We Live Free?

How to Wrestle With God When the Answer to Your Prayer is Delayed

If Nothing is Impossible for God Why Can’t I See It?

Seven Truths You Need to Thrive in Hard Times

What Happened to the Power of Our Faith?

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