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Understanding In My Old Age
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I've always disliked that phrase: you'll understand when you're older. Or this one: the older I get the less I seem to know. The first one isn't true, I still don't understand some things. The second is.
I confess my lack of understanding, perhaps my lack of accepting the teaching about miraculous healings. Below are my thoughts from Matthew 9/18 ff.
I struggle with this concept of miraculous healing. As a pastor, I can explain why then and not today. I can delineate the Biblical reasons for suffering. I rejoice at the times when miraculous healings seem to take place. I would not argue someone’s faith away if they or a loved one experienced such a healing. The Apostle Paul lists healing as a spiritual gift.
I don’t agree with some Pentecostal groups that claim personal failures of healing are a result of a lack of faith. They speak of faith as a prerequisite for healing. This did not happen with JESUS. JESUS often spoke of faith when confronting a person, but also did not let small or a lack of faith hinder HIS reaching out to others.
Besides faith is a varied thing. I believe that JESUS, the FATHER and the HOLY SPIRIT can do anything they want. THEIR want is the key. The miraculous healings JESUS performed were designed to show that HE was the promised MESSIAH. They demonstrated HIS power over the affects of sin. Healings showed HIS heart and great compassion. Healings alleviated suffering.
Yet in our world these miracles are in short supply. Many of our prayers for the sick and injured simply do not bring about miraculous healing.
I’ve often asked for this spiritual gift of healing, for no child in my reach would be sick or suffer from the various human diseases. I would clear out the children’s hospitals.
My Step Daughter experienced the miracle of total recovery from a very serious health problem. However, it took five weeks in ICU and two months of physical therapy and several months of regaining strength to bring about her full recovery. I am extremely thankful for this recovery. I brought my suit expecting a funeral. But GOD deemed that this daughter of HIS had more time to spend with her family and Church.
Sometimes miracles do not happen instantly.
Yet I think about the comment made by a nurse at that time. My step daughter was the first woman to survive this condition in that hospital. What about all the others? In the years past medical science had not figured out how to combat the symptoms of this medical issue to the point where survival was possible. Did the mothers prior to my step daughter not have prayers said for them? Did they not have families and Churches to continue to be a part of?
Yes HE can, but often doesn’t.
I accept that. No one gets out of this world alive. We all must die at some point or other. We were all given one life time to live. We were not guaranteed any certain number of years. Our Heavenly FATHER has already set the days of our earthly lives, by HIS sovereign choice. This is not an arbitrary decision, but a loving gift from the FATHER.
Yet my heart suffers at the suffering of those close to me. I ache when I see pictures of children from around our world, in various conditions of suffering. I weep for the children that are being savagely murdered by those who claim their god says it’s okay.
At this point in my life all I can says is: The LORD gives and the LORD takes away; blessed is the name of the LORD.
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