Part of the Thursday Small Success Series on Catholicmom.com – this was definitely a success for me!
Read on …
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I had always understood the gift of healing from our Lord to be a passive act. You pray for healing and the Lord either grants your request or does not.
But it never occurred to me that God might not be granting a request for healing because the person praying for it is not willing to do the work involved to bring it about.
An active partnership with God to bring about healing?
I had never thought of it that way until this week.
I have two chronic conditions which are too indelicate to describe here but suffice it to say, they interfere with my quality of life and my ability to stray far from the house. Because of these conditions I will not stay overnight somewhere else unless I am compelled to.
This past week these conditions have been on overdrive due to a variety of reasons.
All week I have been praying for healing.
I participated in a healing service at my parish recently for these conditions. I frankly felt embarrassed asking for healing because they are not life-threatening but my heart desired the touch of Jesus so I asked for it. There was no visible change at the time.
Yesterday it finally became clear to me that the Lord was asking me to take part in my own healing. Such an obvious thought, really, considering the medical marvels we now have at our disposal. And yet, this thought had never before occurred to me. My understanding of what it meant to be healed by God was very limited.
In light of what I’ve learned, I am recalling Gospel passages where Jesus asks those he intends to heal to take an active role:
- The ten lepers were to show themselves to the priest (Luke 17:11-19).
- The woman healed of twelve years of bleeding is required to come forth and publicly claim it (Luke 8:40-48).
- The blind man’s eyes were touched by the Lord with his hand, coated with saliva. He asked the man if his sight is improved; upon the response, Jesus touches his eyes again (Mark 8:22-25)
In each case, the person being healed is asked to participate, to take an active role in their healing.
Yesterday I visited the local CVS, looking for over the counter medication that could help with my conditions. Shooting in the dark, I bought several items, hoping they would help.
And that’s when I began to realize that requesting a healing is not simply a matter of asking, sitting back and waiting to receive. We must act in partnership with our Lord if we wish to be healed. And we must accept whatever His answer will be.
In my case, my prayer for healing was answered with ideas.
What could I find at the store that would relieve the symptoms? What could I ask for from my doctor? Acting upon those ideas, I obeyed His request and found the necessary balms that would soothe and heal. I found solutions that will help prevent recurrences.
This simple lesson reminded me yet again that I must never take what Jesus says and does strictly at face value for I miss the hidden and deeper meaning. I could read about the healings in the Bible and lament the fact that I could not just go up to Jesus and ask Him to touch me, to heal me. I could attend healing services and ask for prayers and anointing and then be disappointed when the healing didn’t manifest itself as my narrow mind perceived it ought to. By doing that, I would miss out on all the wonderful insight the Lord would impart to me if I would just follow His course of action.
As always, with every word, every action of Jesus, there is so much more between the lines.
As I enjoy the balm of my healing, I enjoy even more the knowledge gained from knowing that God steps down to work in partnership with me in every aspect of my life. He became human so that He could share in my ups and downs as a human in the most intimate ways. He did this for everyone.
All we need to do is ask, and be open to His answer.
How has God brought about healing in your life? How did you actively participate?
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