Healing: Miracle for All Ages

Age hourglass As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now for war, both to go out and to come in.” (Caleb, at age 85 – as recorded in the book of Joshua, Chapter 14)

As many of you wait for healing to manifest in your bodies, let me dispel a myth that the enemy may be trying to circulate in your reasoning. God doesn’t grant healing based on age; healing was purchased in the Atonement, and manifests in our bodies as we exercise faith to receive it. Period. God is not like our modern healthcare system–not even a government-run healthcare system! “The system” would say that you don’t deserve a new liver because you were an alcoholic. They would say that based on your age, it’s not feasible to do heart surgery or give you a transplant. At your age, cancer treatment is beyond the acceptable practice; or dementia and clogged arteries and failing kidneys are to be accepted. You need to just accept that you are approaching end-of-life and that you aren’t as worth saving as, say, a 20-year old.

Don’t be upset with them…they’re mere humans. They are working with limited know-how, resources, and only so much money. They also have some among them who are also motivated by greed; maybe even a few who would like to play God…but not all. They operate in the carnal, natural realm. They’re good; they do a whole lot of good in their element, but their scope is limited.

But! When you approach God’s throne of grace to obtain help (and health) in your time of need, God is under no such restrictions. He will hear and answer prayer whether you have 50 more years to live or 50 more hours. When you have been satisfied with your number of days, you can transition out of a healed body into eternity instead of allowing the enemy to chisel you away to nothing.  Wouldn’t it be something to pass from a healthy body whose organs were viable enough to donate to the next recipient?  Think about that!

If no one’s ever reinforced that with you, then hear it now! It’s a real game-changer! God will continue to invest in you when you’re 95 just like He did when you were 15, because it’s impossible to waste what comes from an infinite supply. There’s not “only so much” healing to go around. And you–yes, YOU–have the same grace to walk in it as someone younger, more productive, more socially upright, and better-insured!  Don’t bow your head in shame and say, “I don’t feel right asking for healing when others are so much worse off than I am.”  Ask for yourself AND for them too!

When as an “old man” receiving the commission to lead the children of Israel out of bondage, Moses presented his terrible stuttering (and the self-conscious shyness resulting from it) to God as the reason why he wasn’t an ideal candidate. The Lord cooled his jets really quick by asking, “Did I not make men’s mouths?” The same God Who makes men’s mouths just so happens to also unclog arteries, restore sight and hearing, quicken damaged limbs, dry up cancers, and repair a diabetes-ravaged pancreas! He’s perfected making something out of nothing, and He doesn’t have to wait for someone to die to give you a transplant…wait, Jesus already did that!

Don’t listen to wicked spirits who would taunt you and say, as Job’s wife did, “Why don’t you just curse God, die, and accept it!” Rather, why not approach God’s presence today, having cleared your heart of doubt, unforgiveness, secret sins, and all hindrances…and present a claim ticket for that healing which is already been provided for you. God will not make you fill out any forms, put you on a waiting list, or ask you any health-related questions. He will not grant your request based on a limited pool of resources. Your answer is only restricted by how much you are willing to ask and believe for–so do exactly what the Word says you can do. Approach His throne boldly! Walk in your full potential, in Jesus’ name!

The Tares of This Life

Tares and Wheat - 101 BlogA word for us to contemplate today: tares. The Bible refers to a specific “weed” as a tare; it is identical to wheat,only at harvest time, there is no head of wheat. Fruitless. Jesus mentions an enemy tossing weed seeds in among the farmer’s crop, causing mixture: tares growing among wheat. The result is, the farmer has to endure a season of pesky weeds stealing the nourishment from the real thing, unable to pull them up without risking damage to the entire crop. Those roots are so intertwined that if the farmer were to pull one, it would uproot the others. In the parable of the sower, some of the seed scattered fell among “thorns” …and those seeds could not produce because they were outnumbered before they even had a chance. Their root system was choked out by what? Tares. Why, even in our modern English, tare is a term used to describe “empty container;” specifically, the weight of that container before something is added, so that the weight of the filling might be calculated accurately. A big box with nothing in it…ever find disappointment in that? Sure you have! Pop the lid on that pizza box left on the table to find that it got emptied before you got any! I pondered these things last night after Pastor Mitch shared a powerful message on unity in the Body of Christ, in which he referenced the parable of the sower. However, my thoughts drifted to a tare, and the whole concept of something enticing which proves eventually to be fruitless: that counterfeit pursuit which looks legit all the way to harvest time, only to produce a big, fat nothing. It convicted me as I thought of the tares in my own life. So I go before my Father today and ask Him to set my affections on right things; to know the difference between a fruit-bearing seed and a vain distraction. Oh, they’re everywhere. And while we need relaxation, leisure, and even a little entertainment at times, how many tares do I nurture which will produce absolutely NO fruit? Your entire life will be wrapped around the choices you make. We all have an equal amount of seconds, minutes, hours in a day…even if the number of our years vary from one individual to another. Approach this day as if you must get a return on your investment, because today is all you really have this side of eternity. You might get another day tomorrow, but you might not; it’s a stark reality of our human existence. Confess 120 years, but live as if you could be gone tomorrow! Evaluate the gazillion little things that eat up your day, and stop feeding those activities and interests that have no true value. Don’t let your complicated, hurried, fruitlessness be a self-inflicted curse! Pray with me: Father, I am a spirit with a soul, dwelling in flesh. My soul (mind, will, emotions) is in a constant tug-of-war between my flesh and my spirit. You have such wonderful opportunities prepared for me, if only I will tune out the distractions and search You out! Whenever I am guilty of wasting time, send a way of escape from that temptation…bring to mind something worthy of that moment given to what won’t bear lasting fruit. I’m just as saved as I’ll ever be, and I know that my salvation can never be about my works; but Father, I want to produce because I love You! I don’t want to be an empty container. Fill me with Your love, Your favor, Your heart, Your desires, and may I go forth and sow, sow, sow! I am determined that I will not stand before You at the Bema Judgment with nothing more than an account of wasted opportunities. Purge my branches of dead things, trim off those ‘sucker sprouts” which steal nourishment from the fruit. I submit myself to You today willingly, and I say, “Make me a bumper crop fruit-bearer for Your Kingdom!” In Jesus name, Amen.

“I Wish,” Said She…

 

Hand Holding WishboneThe day had been a hectic one. Drenched in perspiration, blood pressure elevated from hours of one stressful event after another, she looked around at so much left undone. The woman thought of how anyone else’s life must be better than her own. Maybe a winning lottery ticket? She said in her frustration, “I wish. I wish I never had to work again. I wish I didn’t have to cook, to clean up messes, to work on the bills, to be piled high with responsibilities. If money were no object, I’d go somewhere no one knew me and no one was constantly calling or dropping by, wanting something. I wish my feet would never be tired again. I wish I didn’t have to live by the clock and the calendar. I wish my kids were not constantly whining about something. I wish my husband would stop irritating me with his messiness and his sports channel on tv. I wish.”

As she mused what it might be like in different circumstances, she fell asleep sitting straight up on the loveseat. She dreamed of her words coming back to her, and getting everything she’d said she wished. ONLY…

She woke up to find herself much, much older. Her surroundings weren’t familiar, but the sounds and smells and uniformed staff quickly let her know she was in some kind of healthcare facility. It was a nursing home! She looked to her right and saw a wheelchair parked beside her railed bed. And she heard her younger self saying, “I wish I never had to work again.”

An orderly pecked on her door and addressed her as “Ma’am,” announcing that it was lunch time. He raised the head of her bed and placed a tray on her bed table which contained a plate of soft, unrecognizable foods, a cup of coffee, and a bottle of nutritional supplement. Once again, she heard her younger voice saying, “I wish I didn’t have to cook.” It all seemed so surreal. She couldn’t have gotten old overnight! A few bites of the tasteless food had her wishing she were in the kitchen, baking her mother’s heirloom biscuits. The orderly came back and collected her partially-eaten meal. She reached for a tissue to wipe her bed table clean, and he said to her, “That’s ok, Ma’am. I’ll clean it up.” Again, her voice echoed, “I wish I didn’t have to clean up messes.”

The time ticked by as if it were in slow motion. A volunteer came around, delivering mail to each patient. When the small bundle of mail was carried to her bed, she fumbled through to find nothing but junk mail, sale flyers to stores she could no longer visit, and a Medicare statement. “I wish I didn’t have to work on the bills, and to be piled high with responsibilities.”

Later on, after a nurse dispensed several medications and drew some blood, she announced that today was Visitors Day. Excited for any variation in this dull day, the woman sat up a little straighter as the nurse and an attendant gingerly helped her from the bed to her wheelchair. They placed a pair of shoes on her feet which looked as if the soles had never touched the ground. “I wish my feet would never be tired again.” They wheeled her into the activity room with other patients and their visitors. As she waited nervously, the clock suddenly seemed to pick up the pace. She looked around at perfect strangers and wondered where her own family was. At ten minutes before the end of visitors’ time, one of her sons came hurrying through the door, apologizing about how busy he was and how he’d been hauling his boys around to football practice. He seemed restless, as if he were relieved that he’d gotten there almost too late. In the awkward silence, the voice of her past came back again, like a prosecutor: “If money were no object, I’d go somewhere no one knew me and no one was constantly calling or dropping by, wanting something. I wish I didn’t have to live by the clock and the calendar. I wish my kids were not constantly whining about something. I wish my husband would stop irritating me with his messiness and his sports channel on tv. I wish.”

“I haven’t seen your father at all today. I can’t imagine where he is!” she said to her son. He looked at her with tired pity in his eyes and said, “Oh Mama, you don’t remember, do you? Pops has been gone about 3 years now. Heart attack. That’s when you came here to the nursing home. He took good care of you after your stroke, clear up until the day he died. I’m so sorry.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++

“I wish…I wish…I wish.” She was shaking her head and saying the words over and over, when a hand on her shoulder shook her gently out of her sleep. It was her husband, who’d gotten worried when he woke up and saw her side of the bed empty.

“What do you wish, Honey?” he asked. “What were you dreaming about?”

As her eyes adjusted in the dimly-lit living room, she was relieved to see the familiar chaos. Toys strewn on the floor. Bookbags by the door. A stack of bills. A calendar full of appointments and a long store list. As she stood to her feet (she could walk!), she welcomed a twinge of pain from having stood on them so long earlier in the day. All the things which had irritated her before were now welcome signs of life. Tears dripped off her cheeks as she whispered a prayer of repentance for having complained about her life. She truly had so much to be thankful for!

“I wish that every day of the rest of our lives can be as good as this one,” she said, taking his hand.

Do you allow the frustrations of life to rob you of your sense of gratitude? Sure, at times we all need a break, a vacation, a change of pace…but we mustn’t wish away the precious moments which are woven among the hectic ones. Life can change in the blink of an eye. Find the wonderful things about today; give thanks for and cherish them. Gladly accept the bitter just for the privilege of having the sweet, too. Remember, it’s a lot more painful to wish for yesterday than it is to wish for tomorrow. Make today count.

“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” (Psalm 90:12 CEV)