The LORD Who Heals
September 15, 2008
I have mentioned here before that my husband and I are going on a missions trip to Kenya later this year. Several have asked why we are going, and what we are thinking going on a medical missions trip! First and foremost, we have prayed together and individually and both feel very sure that we are following God’s leading in joining this mission. We don’t totally understand now why God is leading us this direction, but we trust in the truth of Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”
Yesterday we had our second team meeting. During the meeting we brainstormed as a team about how we could provide some sort of medical/health care assistance despite some of our lack of skills. We talked through identifying lice and ring worm, teaching about sanitation such as boiling water and using soap when available, demonstrating how to brush teeth and explain the benefits of personal hygiene. And while we discussed these different approaches, I kept thinking of my “Names of God” Bible study.
I am currently on the chapter about Jehovah-rapha: The LORD Who Heals. As followers of Christ, we are taught that God is the ultimate healer. We read many instances in the New Testament of the LORD healing the sick through Jesus and his disciples. There are also instances in the Old Testament where the LORD brings healing supernaturally through His divine power. So I wonder, how can we, firm in our faith, approach our mission prayerfully and in the power of God ask for His supernatural touch to come upon those who need healing in Kenya? I wonder how healing is a hug, a touch, a laugh. I know these things do not remove diseases from the body, but we are taught that this world is not our home, that our earthly tents are fragile and wasting away. Is it more important to heal the physical distress or bring strength and hope to the soul?
Maybe I am wrong to quantify these things in these terms. I’ve never been to Africa. I am sure my paradigm will shift dramatically once I observe these physical and spiritual infirmities first hand. But as I prepare to go on this mission, I am encouraged to know that, despite my lack of skill, God can use me for His purposes. That I can bring hope, and loving touch, and strength for the soul to those whose fragile bodies are failing.
I know its human nature to avoid thinking in terms of eternal life. We want to focus on enjoying life today, here on this earth, and worry about the afterlife sometime in the distant future. I myself am guilty of this. And knowing that, today God used this study on The Names of God to challenge my thinking once again.
Kay Arthur says,
We don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to know it. The stark reality of our sin is too sickening, too unpleasant. We want to shut our eyes, stop our ears, and bury our heads. Ignorance is bliss.
We live in our own world – undisturbed, uninformed, and untroubled by realities that could demand our concern and attention as God’s ambassadors of reconciliation. It is a delight to be an ambassador when you enjoy the notoriety, the privileges, and the niceties of life. But bring on the demands of resolving issues and problems, of confronting the unpleasant and the unjust, and we say, “You can forget my ambassadorship.”
We want to be healed ourselves, but we do not want the be involved in others healing. We don’t want out hands soiled. Let us send our money; let us give from afar. let us hear only enough to motivate us to compassion, not enough to haunt our memories.
If we are God’s representatives on earth, manifesting to the world the character of God, if we are to minister rather than be ministered to, we must search out those who need a physician and become actively involved in healing the wounds of his people. There is no question about it, Beloved, because the name of our God is Jehovah-rapha, the LORD who heals!!
2 Comments Add yours
AnnieLaurie…I am so excited to hear about what God will teach you and show you both and to learn what God is doing in Kenya!
This line you shared from Kay Arthur, wise woman that she is, really touched me. “let us hear only enough to motivate us to compassion, not enough to haunt our memories.”–wow–how incredibly well said. How often do we (I) harbor that thought secretly in our (my) heart(s)…thinking others will go/do and our minds won’t have to face the dark realities of this fallen world…while our brothers and sisters suffer in the face of our comfort and to our shame?
Thanks for the powerful reminder and thanks for being one who is willing to go. I will be praying for you and your team.
Hey there Annie Laurie! I am writing to you from the ship on a cruise with Kay Arthur. We are anchored in Sydney, Nova Scotia today in northern Canadad. Wanted you to know I am going to share this blog with Kay because I know it will encourage her so much. She is celebrating her 75th birthday on this cruise with many supporters from around the US, such a blessing! Keep on writing AnnieLaurie, and keep on listening to the Lord…love, Lynn