Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Minister: Rev Ben Haslam, Telephone (01392) 256716
Healing. It’s a word we can use very glibly, or else we can shy away from using the word at all. There are two extremes to avoid when thinking about healing. One is to exclaim that we can’t believe in an ‘interventionist God’ anymore, as there’s so much suffering in the world – God must be powerless to help. It’s useless to even think about God healing therefore, let alone pray for it. If we believe this, we have, to all intents and purposes, given up on God. Incidentally, I have heard people say that it’s wrong to pray for parking spaces, as why would God fail to solve much greater problems, why would He step in to help us find a place to park our car for a couple of hours? Why, for heaven’s sake, shouldn’t we pray for a parking space, if that is our most immediate need? Aren’t we told to pray without ceasing? Aren’t the whole of our lives, including what seem the more trivial matters, of concern to God? If praying for everything becomes your practice, surely you become a more effective and faithful intercessor where life’s graver matters are concerned? GOD IS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER NOT A UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE! TALK TO HIM ABOUT WHAT YOU LIKE! ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! THAT’S WHAT PLEASES HIM BEST! Having got that off my chest, back to the subject…
The other extreme view, where healing is concerned is that God must always bring bodily healing in answer to prayer and if He doesn’t, the one praying must clearly lack faith. This too is dangerous nonsense. God’s ways are often inscrutable to us and ultimately, we have to learn to live with mystery. This is hard, and all of us will experience unanswered questions. Alongside those unanswered questions however, many have felt a deep certainty of God’s goodness and supporting arm, despite darkness and pain. In John 6, people begin to find Jesus’ teaching offensive and turn their backs on him. Jesus turns to the Twelve and asks, “Do you want to leave me too?”. Peter replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. In other words, ‘your teaching may be hard to hear sometimes, you path you call us to tread may be costly, but who else can give us what you offer? Where else can we find the new life and the hope that we have found in you’. Peter has discovered the Greatest Truth. Where healing, and many other things are concerned, Christians may struggle sometimes, as others do. Christians however, have a hope, an assurance, a life-giving connection with God in their lives because they have found Christ who gives what can be found nowhere else. That’s the best answer we have to give to the rest of the world. We might not have all the answers all the time. Healing may come or it may not – or, it may come in a form we didn’t expect. Healing may even come in the form of death. We haven’t got an easy roadmap through these things. We have however, got a Saviour. The one, The Only Saviour. He has the words of eternal life and, but for Him, we would have nowhere else to go.
God bless, Ben