Throughout the scriptures and through the miracles of Christ, God is shown as our Great Physician, healing not only physical wounds as described through John 5:1-9, but as shown in Mark 5:1-13. He restores the mentally and spiritually oppressed as well. Psalm 147: 3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Healing is God’s business. The methods He uses are as varied as the people and the situations that they are in. He doesn’t stop to tell us why He has chosen a particular method with each person, nor does He propose multiple treatment options with varying lengths of recovery or possible side effects. The risk factors for the individual’s mental, emotional, or physical health aren’t reviewed and debated. God simply heals, and we don’t get to choose how.
In Mark 5:25-34 there is an account of a woman who touched the hem of Christ’s clothes and was healed. “Your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease,” He said to her. The woman set out to find Christ, and with unrelenting determination pursued her healing. She professed contact with Christ would heal her; however, the words of Jesus clarify that her healing didn’t come from her own stratagem, but He healed her according to her faith. Many sick and desperate people touched Christ but that physical contact wasn’t a cure. This can be proven a few chapters later, in Mark 8:23. Jesus grabs the hand of a blind man, leads him out of a village and puts spit in his eye to restore his sight. If touching clothing worn by Jesus could heal someone, surely holding His very hand would be even better. That, however, wasn’t the case. The remedy for the woman in Mark 5 was faith, but the blind man in Mark 8 was prescribed a spit and dirt salve. One experienced immediate results, while the other had to take a journey. In both circumstances the miracles that took place are undeniable; both techniques accomplished their intended purpose. Given the choice, it is safe to assume that the blind man would have rather been healed by faith, or through the laying on of hands, or another method that didn’t require being spat on. It wasn’t his choice though. Furthermore, it isn’t ours. God is the Great Physician. Regardless of whether or not we will like His course of treatment, He is. We can sometimes fall into the trap of seeing God work in someone else’s life and wanting their treatment to heal our brokenness and sin. In our pride, we can fall into the trap of judging others for ”getting off easy”. It is our own brokenness that compels that comparison. We are simply unable and ill-equipped to diagnose the condition of someone else, or further critique their healing process. It’s counterproductive to use evidence of God’s power as a menu to order up our own miracle. The testimonies we see are to be used to anchor our faith as we, ourselves surrender to the treatment He deems necessary. For some, it’s not easy and it’s not fast.
“We are simply unable and ill-equipped to diagnose the condition of someone else, or further critique their healing process. It’s counterproductive to use evidence of God’s power as a menu to order up our own miracle.”
Sometimes the healing process involves God breaking us in order to bring needed growth and adjustment in our lives. A broken bone is a great representation of this. When a fracture or break occurs, in its extraordinary design, the body can repair itself. It can create new bone and restore its own skeletal structure. However, sometimes in the process of repair, misalignment occurs and it can cause a wide range of problems ranging in severity. In order to heal it properly, the bone has to be re-broken and repositioned. It has to be carefully monitored and, at times, it must be secured into place. It can seem like a counterintuitive treatment plan to reintroduce the initial trauma to restore pre-fractured function and health. Medically speaking it is not only an accepted form of treatment, but life long disability can be avoided by doing so.
“In order to heal it properly, the bone has to be re-broken and repositioned. It has to be carefully monitored and, at times, it must be secured into place.”
In my life, misalignments formed in places where brokenness has occurred. Areas I had deemed healed enough were continually causing systemic issues. Through prayer, I sought God for help and He started to re-break the malunions that had forged. He would start and I would tap out. Searching for an easier, less painful experience, I would reject His prescribed treatment again and again. I wanted a different solution. I have come to the end of myself in that regard. God knows me through and through. He formed my very being. In Psalm 139:13 David sings, “for you [God] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Every artery and every bone was crafted by Him. Each gene sequenced, and according to Luke 12:7, each hair counted by Him. It’s, therefore, a given that my divine manufacturer would know the precise manner to bring about health and healing. It’s not a multiple-choice option, where I can pick a manner of healing I am comfortable with. Rather, it is a process of trust and surrender. I am placing my misaligned thoughts and behaviors into God’s hands bit by bit and there has been a lot of breaking. A lot of trauma and pain has had to be reintroduced to be dealt with under the care of the Great Physician. It has been excruciating at times and I know that it’s not over. In the midst of it all, God has shown Himself faithful. When the enormity of pain seems like it will crush me, He has positioned loving people to help me along the way. In times when I have wanted to retreat, He has brought stern correction and advice. I have aches and pains from the recovery process, but there is increasing strength where there used to be a weakness. I am seeing my range of motion and freedom being improved from this process. My individual care plan looks and feels brutal, but in the 26 accounted healings in the Gospels, there is not a single account of Christ getting it wrong. There are no apologies for ineffective treatments or alternative treatment plans assessed because the initial attempt failed. He knows the exact nature of each person, and He knows how to remedy them.
Thus, I choose to be joyful as the Bible asks of us all in Philippians 4:4. Whether seeking physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual healing, we can take comfort in the scriptural reminder that healing isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it involves some spit, so to speak. Our magnificent God never ceases to show His faithfulness. As we grab hold of who God is in one hand and the evidence of His character in the other, our focus can shift for the better. Instead of begrudging the manner of healing, we become grateful for the fact that He chooses to heal us.