Monday, October 6, 2008

the God who heals

(Women's Bible Study reflections based on the "Glory Questions": Meditating on God's Word to be Transformed from Glory to Glory)

Acts 3:1-10
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, "Look at us!" And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!" And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

God can heal. He heals the physical. Even more difficult is the healing of the heart and He does that as well. Through Christ, we are healed in mind and spirit. We may still bear outward infirmities, but we are given the power and the tools (Scripture, His Spirit) to be made whole. He takes broken lives, lives that have given up, lives that have been given up on and restores them. We have no choice but to go into His temple and praise Him. Rejoicing over Him who took us from our despair and brought us into His rest and His love. If we truly lived in this, lives would be different. Relationships would be easier because we would view those around us with the same eyes that we were viewed with by God. This should cause us to enter His temple with praises, but since we so often choose not to live in this manner, we seldom return to Him the praise that is due Him. It is easier to live in or brokenness, telling ourselves that we are, in fact, no broken at all. The more we tell ourselves that, the more we believe it. We find those “friends” who will feed into that lie and ignore the counsel of those friends (true friends) who will speak truth and the knowledge of His healing into our hearts. The world tells us it is ok to be broken. And it is, but that brokenness is no an end, as they would have you believe, but rather a jumping off point from which the healing can begin. Refusing to be open to the healing that is so necessary condemns us to a life of bitterness and often solitude, as we no longer trust those around us. In order to live a life that is open to healing, we must trust those around us to speak His truth into our hearts and minds. We must be continually in the Word, “continually devoting [ourselves] to prayer”, as it says over and over again of the disciples. This means even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we’ve slid back and aren’t feeling “whole” or “healed” at the present moment. Of all the ways to receive His words of healing and promise, I need to work on meditating on His Word. This tool of the Glory Questions is giving me the opportunity to do so. I just need to continue to grow in the discipline of doing it. The encouragement of those around me in Bible Study is a great help toward this end…or beginning, as it truly is.

No comments: