I’m in the thick of appointments and therapy, and it’s a mess. Last week I was supposed to check in with myself whenever I felt overwhelmed, to stop and ask, What am I feeling? What am I needing? Which I did, and it helped. But there were many moments I didn’t—moments when stress from work and home and relationships picked me up like a tornado and flung me far, far away from any semblance of recovery. Some days I follow my counselor’s instruction to a T with no reprieve. Sometimes one good day turns into three and I have no idea why, but my setbacks catch me by surprise, too. Does it matter what I do or don’t do?
The Bible says my actions do matter, that I’ll reap what I sow. But is that more an observation of how the world works than it is a promise? Is it true of something as divine as healing? Jesus professes the kingdom belongs to the poor in spirit and the persecuted; the earth will be inherited by the gentle; there will be mercy for the merciful, comfort for mourning, righteousness for those who hunger and thirst for it. The peaceful will be called children of God. The Father’s ways turn ours upside down. Where does that leave me—a woman very much on this planet and very much longing for the wholeness that exists within the kingdom of God?
I used to envy those who experienced Jesus in the flesh, because the answer seemed clear: Go to Him; be seen and touched by this Man who heals. But that could be true only once they’d heard rumors of His name and power. How many years before then had the lepers and the blind searched for the right doctors, medicine, money, caretakers? Strived and strategized as I have?
I do love, though, that these marred, desperate men and women left to find Jesus once they heard His name. They were willing, yet again, to hope in something, someone, that might disappoint them. I wonder if asking, What must I do to get better? for as long as they’d suffered prepared them for the moment they saw Jesus’ face. And when He said their faith made them well, maybe He wasn’t suggesting that they lacked doubt but, rather, that they had just enough belief to hope for healing one more time.
Would that have been me? On the one hand, I do keep trying, moving forward with my appointments and implementing what I’ve learned in counseling. On the other hand, I’m so tired. I don’t know that, had I heard of this strange miracle-worker, I would have believed it was worth putting on my sandals and leaving home to find Him. These days I spend what little energy I have just saying the words Lord, heal me. Lord, help me.
It’s interesting that when Jesus pointed out someone’s faith as He brought healing, He didn’t comment on its size, depth, or consistency.
It’s interesting that when Jesus pointed out someone’s faith as He brought healing, He didn’t comment on its size, depth, or consistency. Apparently, its existence—no matter how battered or fleeting or small—would do. Even the father of the demon-possessed son, who one minute wasn’t sure Jesus could heal his child, the very next had only enough faith to ask for help in the very act of believing. And Jesus honored that.
Is that what it takes to be healed? The tiniest bit of hope that a whole and restored me could be just around the corner? Enough curiosity to look around that corner to find out? Some days I may be able to chase after God, and others only say His name, but both acknowledge possibility and keep me anticipating His healing hand. It’s a different kind of sowing and reaping: We dedicate what little belief we have to hope for healing, hidden among days of defeat.