Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Healing Comes in Many Ways

Job 14:1-2 (New Living Translation)
1 “How frail is humanity!
How short is life, how full of trouble!
2 We blossom like a flower and then wither.
Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.

I thought it was a discarded piece of waste paper, and stooped to pick it up. I found that it wasn't paper, but a flower that had fallen from the lovely white orchid that is in full bloom in a pot on top of one of our bookcases.

The flower had dried where it fell, but it was still beautiful, a fragile work of art. I examined it carefully, admiring the handiwork of God. I gently opened it to see the colours within; the purple and gold at the centre. It rustled in my fingers as I touched it and I held it to my ear to listen to the sound of the empty shell-flower. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, so I put it on my kitchen window sill.

Later that week three of us sat together after cell group, having a final cup of coffee of the evening. We had watched the Alpha DVD entitled, Does God Heal Today? and we continued talking about healing and our perspective on it being different to God's.

I mentioned the book I read last year: The Spiritual Brain; A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary.It is a fascinating book that made me think about how we pray and what we see as answers.

Romans 8:26 (New Living Translation) makes it clear that we don't know how to pray without the help of the Holy Spirit:
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

From our limited perspective, the answer we seek when we pray for the sick is physical healing. But The Spiritual Brain, had an interesting section that examined evidence that the mind, consciousness, and self can continue when the brain is no longer functional and clinical criteria of death have been reached, and it did this through the reports of people who were clinically dead but were revived.

There are some common factors in these experiences. Many people said that coming back from where they were made them sad. One woman mentioned had to work through her guilt about this with her pastor and counsellor, because she had young childen.

Another common denominator is that most people who have had an experience of this sort will have changed values. Relationships are what matter most for the rest of their lives.

So, I will pray in faith, believing God for a miracle, for he is able to heal. But I will also remember that his ways are not our ways; his perspective is far above ours. and one day, if we still need to, we will understand the answers that didn't seem to make sense in the short time, relative to eternity, that we are on earth.

Romans 8:18-21 (New Living Translation)
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

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