Miracles – Where do they come from?

Sauce of Miracles

 

I saw a mini-doco on the French town of Lourdes last night on TV and it got me a little mad, and also got me thinking – a dangerous combination to be sure! 🙂

You probably all have heard something about this place, now a ‘Mecca’ for the desperately sick and hopeful seeking cures for what ails them. Some EIGHT MILLION visitors every year, and growing!

I find it an interesting commentary on the ‘validity’ of Lourdes as being THE place where miracles are granted that, while, it has been a place of pilgrimage for over 150 years, Wikipedia declares the Vatican has confirmed that a total of 67! are ‘unexplained ‘ cures (man cannot explain them, so far). They are investigating another seven thousand or so claims ‘worthy of interest’.

Out of what must now amount to something near 100 million seeking their God’s sympathy and compassion (many of whom are repeat visitors coming once a year for decades in some cases) it is hardly ‘overwhelmingly’ obvious this is a place where miracles are granted. It is certainly a place where statistically there is a better than ‘usual’ chance of a cure simply by reason of the fact that so many sick people show up there – hope attached.

One of the things that got me feeling a little ‘mad’ (angry, even) was one ‘true believer’s’ comment that he was “110% positive that it was the spring and the waters that were the source of the miraculous ‘cures’ ”

Jesus makes it clear to one and all in the New Testament that it is by our FAITH we are healed – if we had Faith as a mustard seed (a very, very tiny thing – but ‘alive’ and can grow into a full-fledged plant, full of powerful ‘flavours’) Matt Ch 9, Matt 17:20, Lk 17:6, amongst others.

Yet supposedly religious people who believe in Jesus ‘totally’ (and whom i am bound to believe READ their bible’s) can make declarations like the one above – it is the water that cured me!

Am I the only one who sees this as a kind of blasphemy – denial of The Saviour’s recorded word?

It is our Faith – our heartfelt belief – that allows God to send us the ‘cure’ for what ails us… or rather, not send it to us, since it is there always, but allows us to accept it and not spend all our time rejecting the True and Faithful Word of God while we listen to our, and our friends, earthly complaints.

It is more than this though – we are ‘responsible’ for virtually everything that ‘befalls’ to us in our minds and bodies. While we do not ’cause’ ‘accidents’ ( some do happen) directly, we attract certain conditions to ourselves through our unending daily ‘choices’ we make in our lives – what we ‘choose’ to pay attention to and surround ourselves with.

God offers us an infinite range of choices and we ‘select’ the ones that we do for all the many reasons that we have – often as a result of our ‘culture’, community and close human connections.

So is it necessary (or even helpful) to invest time and money visiting the place a 14 year old girl claims to have seen her vision (a total of almost 20 times)?

Or is our Faith something that needs to come from withinside of us – and not from a bottle of spring water?

Do we need to let Jesus and our Faith spring up out of and through us – not out of some Pyrenees soil.

Maybe by learning Humility and how to listen and pay full attention to the God Bandwidth that is there in our background ‘noise’ 24/7/365.25 we can avoid our own distractions and dis-ease..

 … accept the cure that is always on offer anywhere our hearts are allowed to feel it?

One other thing i think is important to consider…

While anyone who is ill usually asks ‘Why Me’? and wants desperately to be free of the pain or inconvenience or both their illness causes them…

How many of us ever think – The Lord allows me to be this way for a reason? Am i doing what His Will requires while living in this condition? or am i constrained wholly and solely by my own ‘will’ and my focus on the negative – wanting so much to be rid of what i find myself with – a burden – a yoke?

 Do we ever consider modifying our lives so as to remove the many things that lead up to the inevitable outcome of our present circumstances?

 If we live constantly in a ‘polluted’ environment – a cure for the illness caused by that environment is hardly likely to last very long – if at all.

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35 thoughts on “Miracles – Where do they come from?

  1. The whole scene of ‘healing waters’ reminds me so much of the story in John 5 where Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.

    In several versions (and footnoted in others)it noted that the people who were at that pool thought that:
    “an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. ”
    (vs. 4)NKJV

    The fella Jesus came across had been an invalid for 38 years (and may have been there much of that time).

    It was rather curious that Jesus first asked him, “Do you want to get well?” That would seem a ‘given’, but by the excuse the man gave in answer (“I don’t have anyone to help me”)it seemed there was a ‘deeper problem’ Jesus was exposing. Had the man so alienated people that no one wanted to help?

    It doesn’t really indicate that he had faith in either the water or Jesus, but Jesus healed him anyway.

    I think perhaps Jesus wanted to make another point, as indicated when He found the man later and told him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (vs 14)NIV

    Maybe His point was that the power to be healed was available to those who had faith in GOD (not the waters), as you said in your post. But I think he also wanted to communicate that sometimes God just reaches down in mercy to those trapped in their own sin and/or disease to wake them up to their deeper need. Even a ‘healed body’ will still not deliver them from that if they don’t look to the One who can heal their souls as well.

    I think that all really confirms your thoughts in this post, especially
    “Do we ever consider modifying our lives so as to remove the many things that lead up to the inevitable outcome of our present circumstances?”

    That applies spiritually as well as physically I believe.

    D-

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  2. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! Totally agree it is our faith along with the power of God which heals. I just can’t thank you enough for stating here what I have been trying to say all day….*sigh* and Dana…right on! 🙂

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  3. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
    1 Co 12:7,11

    A little off-track, but i read it earlier and wanted to point out the issue of the Spirit (which resides as a grain of mustard seed within us all) which it is beholden unto us to have faith in and also in the Source of that Spirit.

    As indicated above The Spirit (combined with Faith) has the power to heal – our self as well as others. Jesus Healed the sick – He made sure that His Father got all the Glory – that the healing was not ‘of’ Himself, but of Faith in God.

    Laz2 – reading John 5 my KJV casts a different interpretation on that scene…

    Common belief is that a ‘flat’ pool regularly stirs up (troubled waters). It is believed that an Angel of the Lord first caused this stirring and the first person into the pool after this re-occurs is cured by God.

    The man is bedridden and cannot move much under his own power and despite being there a long time (demonstrating his faith in God’s ability to cure) finds that those who can walk are always in the pool before him and so gets the one ‘cure’ available each time.

    Jesus sees the person has faith but it is constrained by his belief he will not get into the pool before those more mobile than him. Jesus’s Faith grants the man the ability to go that little bit extra faith needed to be cured.

    At least that’s how i read the words of John 🙂

    The Spirit has the power to heal.

    Man has the power to believe (have faith – in many things).

    It is a matter of conforming our belief to be in correct alignment with the Spirit that we then become ‘whole’ again.

    This requires understanding of what the Spirit is (it is not ‘material’, but spiritual, which is the ‘blueprint’ for our material bodies. You are right Laz – “That applies spiritually as well as physically I believe”

    Debs – have i earned your forgiveness for our earlier misunderstandings then? 🙂 Nice to see your comment.

    And you are welcome – although i confess i was not writing with the intention of saying what you had been trying to, so your thanks are overly generous 😉

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  4. Gosh, Love. You are beginning to sound like an evangelical. 😉

    Good points, everyone. But….I think that we must be careful when talking of being healed by our faith. I know some people who have serious medical problems who have been told by well meaning people that if they only could find enough faith then they would be healed.

    God will do the healing, or not do the healing, if it serves his purpose (which is always good). As Love said, it may never serve his purpose to heal, no matter how much faith or how many Carmelite nuns pray for us.

    But I would hesitate to suggest to someone who is ailing that their misery is just another one of God’s tools.

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  5. Well Said Bro’ very valid points.

    Raising ‘false’ hope out of our (ego’s) desire to comfort and bring or maintain Hope and ‘positivity’ to those we perceive as being ‘in need’ is most definitely not a thing to be encouraged – even if well meaning.

    I think it really all comes down to:

    Can we elimiate our desires that are of our ego and replace them with the desire to do His Will and not our own. (Correct alignment of our spirit with The Spirit!)

    This has the power to make us all ‘Whole’. To each of us is given diverse gifts – and needs.

    How well we ‘profit’ from them is a matter of both what was given and what we do with it – accept it fully or reject it in favour of our own will. Each has it’s consequences for our life here on earth and afterwards.

    Evangelical?? Moi??? Surely not 😉

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  6. I do see the basis for your interpretation of John 5, but there are some elements there that still make me think the man’s problem was more spiritual than physical in Jesus’ eyes.

    If he really wanted to be well, and really believed God could heal him by the stirring of the waters, I’d think he’d do everything possible to gain help in getting there. But, if he was merely just resigned to his ‘condition’ (that I think can sometimes be the case — i.e. ‘just the way I am’), then Jesus’ questioning his desire for healing made perfect sense.

    The other strange thing is Jesus finding the man later to warn him not to sin anymore. He must have seen something in his spirit that was of greater concern to address.

    It is so totally different from Jesus healing the man born blind in John 9 where He corrected His disciples in their assumption he must have sinned to be so handicapped:
    “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,…but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (vs. 3 NIV)
    There again it doesn’t say that the blind man had asked to be healed (i.e. his ‘faith’)or even knew what was happening around him, but the outcome
    was so totally different from the man in Jn. 5. The (formerly) blind man later stood up to the Pharisees in defense of Jesus, where the healed lame man cooperated with them (though perhaps he didn’t know their intent against Jesus?).

    In Jn. 9:38 the healed blind man ends up believing in and worshiping Christ, but we have no indication of that in Jn. 5 with the healed lame man.

    Hopefully Jesus’ warning to him was eventually heeded and his spirit healed as well(?).

    I think it is in the later that ‘the work of God is best displayed’ in anyone’s life.

    D-

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  7. Speaking from a place of chronic illness, thanks Christian for bringing in the point, God’s will is the reason some are healed and others are not.

    I have given my life to God and believe He can heal me instantaneously if He so desires, but I get progressively worse. It takes quite a lot of faith (which He also gives) in His goodness to continue to praise His name. I am grateful for the Father’s gift of suffering, it has caused me to become compassionate and much less judgmental.

    Thanks for the post Love, I was waiting to see which way the discussion went before commenting – it’s a rather touchy subject for me.

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  8. It is good for those of belief to discuss our understandings of particular scripture, in respect for each other. While my observations might not at first seem to fit exactly with other’s understandings, i hope all can freely share here and be respected for their views.

    I am as liable as any to make misinterpretation of scripture but i hope sincerely that i do not add to what is written more than is actually there?

    I do however, add my thoughts that are inspired from readings that are not contained in the Bible – i am not sufficient of a scholar of the entire Bible so as to know exactly where my understandings are located therein. I do however frequently find from other’s scriptural references, sections of the Bible that say what i try to say quite perfectly (from one perspective) 🙂

    Having said that i offer my understandings from reading John 5 and John 9:

    It is not clear (in the KJV) what affliction the bedriden man has. He desires to be cured and is a believer in the Angel of the Lord’s (of the pool) power to heal him providing he can be first to the water at a specific time (that may not be able to be predicted but needs constant watching so as to see the disturbance of the water).

    He may or may not have had someone help him get to the poolside but they clearly were not with him at the time Jesus spoke with him and he considered himself unable to reach the waters before other afflicted people could.

    Upon becoming ‘healed’ (whole – indicating he previously ‘lacked’ something – was not yet whole?) by Jesus (whom we are told the man knew then not) he followed His Word and did as he was commanded, taking up his bed and walking. (in spite of this being against Jewish Law as defined by them!)

    When faced with his ‘crime’, he offered as an excuse for breaking the law that he was doing as he was told – although he could not identify Jesus at the time.

    Jesus then seeks out the man in the Jewish temple
    and both makes Himself known to the man by name and commands him to sin no more. This could be seen as instruction for him to make known to the Jews just who was responsible for making him Whole since that is the first thing we are told he then does?

    Was the man’s faith sufficient for him to be made whole? or was Faith given unto him by Jesus as a necessary part of Jesus’ (God’s) plan for the greater good? Did the man do right by God after being healed? Did he profess the name of Jesus in thanks? Was that why Jesus sought him out a second time?

    The Blind man in John 9 seems to confirm that it is all part of Jesus’s plan that he knew was to come to being.(John 9:3) The man in declaring to the Phariseeic Jews in vs 31 that he is a believer in God’s ability to heal and cure:
    31 ‘Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. ‘
    IF WE WORSHIP GOD AND DO HIS WILL!

    I think we need to remember that the New Testament contians the story of Jesus Christ – the events thus related are indeed ‘special’ and do not necessarily have to be made to conform to our own circumstances (are we in His physical presence on Earth today?)

    Jesus came as an example for us all to follow – not so that we behave as the ‘normal’ Jews and gentiles recorded in Scripture do.

    We are saved by Him, IF we do as He did and being Whole in Faith and Spirit and denying the physical flesh, follow only His Father’s Will, not merely seeking our own desires. True?

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  9. Michelle – it saddens me to hear of your progressive illness.

    It seems to be increassingly common and i and a number of regular posters here share to some degree a similar condition (mine (Arthrtitis) is so mild as to be almost unnoticeable, Thank God 🙂 )

    John 9:3 clearly shows that not all illness is a punishment for sin – that there are perhaps greater Plans in the World.

    I do believe however, that if we earnestly and constantly seek to do as He did in His Earthly life, that we shall become whole in our spirit and thus achieve our goal of being at One with God.

    Not all of us alive today will reach this goal in this incarnation and even the most earnest seekers of Christ might die while still infirm of their physical body.

    The Goal should not be the restoring of our Body – but of our Soul – our spirit that it aligns with His Spirit.

    As the Romans were so often quoted: “Mens sana in corpore sano”

    A healthy Mind in a healthy Body – the mind should be the leader of the body.

    Clear our minds and make them whole, pure and full of light, and if it is so willed, then our bodies must conform to follow it in health.

    Your mind seems pretty clear to me – but i am not easily able to judge that being full of my own imperfections still 😉

    Have another Smile or three 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I think you are moving in the right direction but i don’t yet know you well enough to see it as He does 😉 (or as you can)

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  10. Love, am I hearing some eastern mysticism in your thinking?

    “Not all of us alive today will reach this goal in this incarnation and even the most earnest seekers of Christ might die while still infirm of their physical body.”

    “A healthy Mind in a healthy Body – the mind should be the leader of the body.”

    “Clear our minds and make them whole, pure and full of light, and if it is so willed, then our bodies must conform to follow it in health.”

    I haven’t done much study in Buddhism or Hinduism, but in discussion with friends who follow those philosophies, I hear similar teaching. Are we trying to reach enlightenment through our incarnations – are we working out bad karma? Not trying to be abrasive, just wanting to understand what I’m hearing.

    I live close to many televangelists who teach a corrupted word – God wants you healthy and wealthy – the law of attraction through ‘sanctified’ words. Many people swallow it hook, line and sinker, not realizing they’re following New Age teaching.

    When we are told not to add or take away from scripture, I believe this is what we are being warned against…

    Thanks for the smileys – you know my weakness already. 😉

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  11. I confess to being widely read – and somewhat catholic (little c) in my ‘tastes’ for spiritual learning.

    Have no doubt – Jesus is The Man for me.. but I am quite convinced that buddhists, muslims, hindu’s and even the odd atheist will all be gathered together in ‘Heaven’ Truth Is Beauty – but it is also Truth – His Truth – and He is not subject to the same prejudices as we humans are… no matter how much we want to read that into the Old Testament.

    Do i believe that our spirit only visits earth once? – no! Our bodies? maybe – but our spirit? no. I believe our spirit is given many opportunities, but that our minds are ‘formatted’ each time – old useless data is erased while certain ‘learnings’ (concerning self/god) are maintained that we may grow towards a better understanding/relationship. Once that relationship reaches a ‘sufficient’ level of expertese we can progress ‘beyond’.

    Not having recall of our spirit’s preceding journeys it is hardly being given ‘another chance’ since we don’t remember having the previous one(s) and it is of little help to us in this ‘life’.

    Not quite how many will see it but i can reconcile it with my understanding of Christ with little difficulty.

    I hope in my quotes i was not misunderstood though – as Humans our mind ‘controls’ every aspect of our life – BUT our spirit is the True Controller – if we let it be!

    IF we learn to subjugate our will to that of The Spirit (Comforter, Holy Spirit – John 14:26) then we may make ourselves whole (through Grace and works) and the ‘healed’ mind leads to a healed body.

    If we do not so learn and do our own works it is unlikely we will ever achieve such. Isn’t that pretty much what the Bible/Jesus teaches?

    As for so called ‘New Age’ teaching, i am not denying there are many false prophets in the world today, however, in my understanding, most of them are teaching very OLD age teachings but ‘jazzed up’ to meet today’s modern ‘need’.

    As ever many who listen get it all completely wrong because they have not learned the necessary key – His Will BEFORE mine, not the other way around.

    Many Christians have the same problem with that, i find.

    As for ‘those’ tele-evangelists? I quite despise the perception of the ‘me’ philosophy when it should be about Him, First and foremost.

    For me, the Ultimate Goal we search for throughout our spiritual life is a return to God, by working through ‘The Fall’ – however long it takes.

    Jesus is a perfect Template for us to follow – whether we ‘know’ Him – or not. (Just because some may never have heard of Him or ‘reject’ Him by reason of their cultural Faith, does not mean (to me) that they can not Be as He was/is if they devote themselves to serving The Living God wholly.

    I don’t consider you ‘abrasive’ – just earnest and seeking Truth, and that is not of itself a bad thing to be 🙂

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  12. Hi Love, I don’t always agree with or understand you. Doesn’t mean I don’t love you! I was thanking God more than you as it was confirmation to me to stay on the path He has called me too….good to see you around again! Me 🙂

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  13. What a timely thread Love. Deb and I have been discussing this via email a lot. Her relief I think is directed at that. However…I’m glad you pointed out John 9. It is one of the verses my father in law, VERY GODLY AND FAITH FILLED MAN who also has Lupus, directed me to when I was diagnosed. At my diagnosis I wept and wept, I though I was being punished (although I know better than that) My F-I-L pointed me to John 9:3 and reminded me that that is not how God works. He will reveal HIS POWER through this affliction. And He has! In many ways! I have asked for healing repeatedly, and I believe my faith is strong while my requests are many, but He continues to say, “not now child”. Like Paul who asked 3 times for God to take away his thorn – each time God refused and said “My power works best in your weakness”. Amen! Do I WANT healing? YES! Do I ask for healing? You betcha! Has HE healed me? YES! He has healed my mind! He healed the way I look at this affliction. He has healed my prejudices of others who have chronic illnesses who have always seemed to me to be weak and faithless. How terrible I was to once be that kind of person. HE has healed me! HE IS GOOD and HE IS GOD. i am not.

    Christian, I’m so glad you said what you said I am copying it here cuz I think it bears repeating. Thank you!!!

    “Good points, everyone. But….I think that we must be careful when talking of being healed by our faith. I know some people who have serious medical problems who have been told by well meaning people that if they only could find enough faith then they would be healed.

    God will do the healing, or not do the healing, if it serves his purpose (which is always good). As Love said, it may never serve his purpose to heal, no matter how much faith or how many Carmelite nuns pray for us.”

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  14. Thanks for your clarifying comments on John 5 & 9. I am glad you emphasized that infirmity is not due to sin (or lack of faith). That truly is a cruel misrepresentation of Jesus’ teaching in Jn. 9 though I still think may have had special application in Jn. 5 =).

    I would rephrase your comment here though:
    “We are saved by Him, IF we do as He did and being Whole in Faith and Spirit and denying the physical flesh, follow only His Father’s Will, not merely seeking our own desires. True?”

    I would rather say on the basis of Eph. 2:8-10 that:
    “BECAUSE through mercy (Christ’s sacrifice in our place), we are saved by Him, we will do as He did…”
    The wording might seem similar, but has a very different meaning I think, especially as related to some of your later comments.

    I have no problem with being ‘widely read’ in spiritual teachings, but when they contradict God’s Word (the Bible), a choice has to be made which to accept. I will always choose the latter.
    If I accept only the parts that I want to, how can I believe any of it to be true (i.e. 2 Tim. 3:16-17)? It would then all be ‘relative’ to each individual’s thinking.

    For example, it seems to me that your statement:
    “Jesus is a perfect Template for us to follow – whether we ‘know’ Him – or not. (Just because some may never have heard of Him or ‘reject’ Him by reason of their cultural Faith, does not mean (to me) that they can not Be as He was/is if they devote themselves to serving The Living God wholly.”
    contradicts Jesus words in John 14:6-7:
    “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know Him and have seen Him!'” NLT

    I’m sure we can go round and round about what it really means to ‘know’ Him, but to say that someone who ‘rejects’ Him can still “be as He was/is” I can’t find in Scripture. (Unless you mean that we can’t tell on the outside whether he has actually been ‘accepted’ or ‘rejected’?). Granted God is ultimately the only judge of that, but I believe it is only by accepting Him that His Spirit can then come inside to conform us to His image (Rom. 8:26-29).

    I certainly don’t want to belittle anyone’s sincere beliefs, and I realize that even my own which I believe are based on the Word can be interpreted differently by others. My main desire in any discussion though is to point to God’s Word as the standard by which all truth must be discerned.

    D-

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  15. I have on more thing to say on this subject. God chose to heal some and not heal others. I have lupus. Am I not healed because I am resigned to it? Absolutely not! That couldn’t be more incorrect. And for anyone to assume that for me, is out of line…IMHO. No one knows how hard and how often I seek the Lord for healing of lupus. But like I said…HE HAS HEALED ME. MY MIND! Oh how I needed that. But there are two sides of this. Those He chooses to heal and those He chooses not to. I don’t believe it is ok for man to tell me what side I should be on based on their assumption (judgment) of my level of faith. I don’t like lupus. But I have joy in this circumstance because God is faithful and has every right to mold this piece of clay as He wishes to accomplish His will, purpose and to reveal His power and glory in HIS time.

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  16. I have a very close friend who has struggles physically with a problem similar to Tam’s. At a women’s prayer grouping she was prayed over, specifically for healing,and much to her discomfort. One woman actually told her that if she only could find the faith she would be able to get up and walk.

    Personally I have trouble with well intentioned groups of people who go to hospitals and hold hands around terminally ill people, praying for a miraculous healing. Miracles do happen, I’ve seen them. But is it really true that the more people who pray the more likely God will hear the prayer?

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  17. Please let me say first, I am glad for the exchange of thoughts and need this type of interaction. Thank you, Love, for giving the opportunity.

    I spend most of my days in bed due to an illness that is a mystery to the doctors. I have been screened for everything and nothing is conclusive. The last doctor was the most honest in telling me that I definitely have something wrong, they just haven’t figured out the test to diagnose it properly. He thinks it’s Multiple Sclerosis, but can’t call it yet, more definite scarring needs to be seen on the MRI. Anyway, long story short, I’ve been ill on and off since my early twenties (possibly teens), I’m 45 now.

    I have been through the gamut of teaching on healing, and have taught the topic many times in my years as a Precept Bible Study leader. Before I was grounded in the word, I sought out a faith healer and saw the closest thing to a miracle I have ever experienced, but I was not completely healed.

    I’ve been through holistic herbal methods, mercury (heavy metal) chelation, prescription drugs, and always prayer, prayer, and more prayer. I have to say after all these years and all my trust being put in Jehovah Rapha – the Lord Who Heals – I am where He wants me to be. I don’t understand it completely, I’m not sure I will know this side of heaven, but for some reason this is where He has me because it is teaching me more about Him than any other place I could be.

    He is sovereign and I can rest in Who He is.

    Tam, I hear you, amen and amen. It’s hard being where we are, but I must say, it is good. In the center of His will is where I want to stay. 😉

    See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
    Deuteronomy 32:39

    Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases.
    Psalm 103:1-3

    God is so good. 🙂

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  18. Love what a great post!! I love that HE heals us maybe not the way we want sometimes, but always for HIS greater good!! I just love how when I am disappointed over a “no” I get that HE wraps himself around me, and reminds me that sometimes he doesn’t choose to calm the storm, but HE promises to not leave me in it! awesome!!

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  19. So many great points, thoughts, ideas!

    All (I Hope) leading to a closer understanding for each of us of HIM and our path we walk with Him?

    I chose my nickname quite intentionally – it was in the hope that ALL would be brought a little closer together (as we all ‘approach’ Him – the Final ‘Goal’ – re-Unification with The One!

    My initial intention was to help those who choose not to believe in a God – or have a very ‘unconnected’ experience of Him to be able to see ways they could relate more closely to those who already feel they are His and His alone.

    It seems that i have succeeded more in bringing myself a little closer to those believers that i have previously felt some ‘antipathy’ towards (as hypocrites – more my prejudice than of any here, for sure!)

    Laz2, Deb,(Me)and Michelle – although my honest comments in my post and above may sometimes seem not in perfect alignment with your own experiences and understandings – i can assure you – we have VERY little difference in our beliefs – or the source of our own understanding.

    I may not have yet been able to communicate my understanding in ways that yours’ is able to accept fully – but that is my failing and although it is not totally essential i do so – i hope that in time i can and we all see just how, though our respective pathways might sometimes diverge, that ultimately they all take us to the same end-point. Convergence in God.

    I am always happy to hear how your views differ to mine that i might consider them and adjust what errors i find in my own way of viewing the world – and HIM

    Laz – when i said ‘rejects’ (Jesus) I meant someone (from a non-Christian background) who does not ever have the circumstances that allow for a True understanding of Jesus’s life as described in ‘our’ Bible, perhaps in their culture they have heard of Him (as Muslims, who believe He was a Prophet of God eg.) but who none-the-less DO as He did, give up their earthly life and follow the Will of the Living God who can and does ‘broadcast’ to all of us – all the time.

    I believe this is still ‘in the Spirit of’ Jesus’ words in John 14:6 – are you able to perceive how this may be the case also? or not? I take ‘by me’ to mean anyone who Does as He does and proclaims truly that ‘The Father is In Me – I am in Him!’ even if they have never heard of Jesus’ name on earth. We who have heard are indeed fortunate, but we should not ascribe sin to, and condemn to eternal death, those who truly follow God, no matter what there Earthly circumstances are.

    May you all be Blessed and healed just a little bit more this Easter-time.

    I am sure that once we fully have our minds (or the section of them)’healed’ our bodies are compelled to follow that ‘example’ – it is the way He Works in us.

    As above – so below.

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  20. Thanks again for your clarification. I think your perception of
    “someone (from a non-Christian background) who does not ever have the circumstances that allow for a True understanding of Jesus’s life as described in ‘our’ Bible”
    fits well with Romans 2:12-16. We have friends who have many interactions with Muslims and often find them very receptive to learning more about Jesus — even from a Christian perspective. Some have had personal visions of Him, so I believe He will reveal Himself in whatever way necessary to those who truly seek Him with all their hearts.

    Also, I didn’t mean to say that anyone in need of healing who has commented here is ‘resigned’ to their condition.

    I think with each painful ‘trial’ (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual)that the Lord allows in any of our lives, He challenges us all to examine our hearts and attitudes to see how He wants to refine us through it. Even Job whom God called “blameless and upright” found some ‘dross’ coming to the surface in his firey trial that he eventually repented of prior to his healing.

    That’s not to say his repentance obligated God to heal his body, but by it his spirit was made even more ‘blameless and upright’ I think.

    As others have already well said, the pain is usually what brings us closer to God and makes us ‘more fruitful still’ (Jn. 15:1-4 =). Hard as it is, we are called to ‘count it all joy’ (like Michelle =)because through it we come to ‘know Him in His sufferings’ (James 1:2-4 and Phil 3:10)more than we ever would have without the pain (‘thorn’ as Tam mentioned also =). His grace is sufficient, for His power is truly perfected in weakness.

    D-

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  21. Beautifully put Laz! 🙂 I’m glad of your input as you frequently help me locate the exact verse that says what i meant ! 🙂

    Nice to know we can see eye to eye (moreso, if not yet ‘perfectly’) on the discussion 🙂

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  22. I’d like to clarify something. When I used all caps, I was not yelling. I was trying to make a point but do not know how to italicize or make bold anything I write unless I’m writing a post and it has a “B” or “I” to select. Sorry if it seemed like I was yelling…I most certainly WAS NOT! Ha 😉

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  23. In John Chapter 9, Jesus meets a man who was born blind. And His disciples, who swallowed the dogma of the day, asked what the blind man–or his parents–had done wrong. But Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

    When it comes to suffering, many people look back like the disciples. Much of the emotional and spiritual suffering of diseases and ailments and disabilities comes when we too look back to the times we were healthy.

    But Jesus makes it very clear that we are to look ahead, not back. So the question isn’t “Why?” Instead, we should be asking, “What can we do through our suffering to honor God?” Or we what can we do DESPITE our suffering?”

    I have a progressive hearing loss currently hovering at 60%, but ten years ago, it was only 40%. And ten years before that, it was so small I was considered a hearing person. I am not ashamed and I certainly do not need, nor want, your sympathies. (Just so we’re all clear on that. For the verse that raises me up, see Exodus 4:11.)

    But how much more glorious for God was my conducting “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today” for bell choir on Easter Sunday when I have lost 60% of my hearing? So, I hope, the work of God has been displayed in my life, too.

    And it’s not just that. I run my own business, I worked my way through college, and I am currently revising my manuscript (at a publisher’s suggestion). Ultimately, none of that really means much of anything–excpet to say that I have not succeeded in spite of my “disability”; I have succeeded because of it. It forced me to work that much harder. And working that much harder in things that don’t matter (wordly things) has tempered me to work that much harder in things that do matter (heavenly things…like being a guest conductor for bell choir on Easter Sunday).

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  24. Welcome NE! 🙂

    Inspiring words, that i find myself agreeing with in large measure.

    I try never to be sympathetic as this is, i believe, a sign our ego is leading us – not God. I far prefer being EM-pathetic, accepting of a person’s measure of ‘ability’ and wishing to help them stay on the straight and narrow path and not wander or fall from it.

    Sympathy can lead us to fall with the person we are sypathetic with – empathy lets them raise up in our strength (we receive through Him)

    God gave us our bodies complete with dis-ease fighting abilities (like an immune system) I am not saying, as did the disciples, that your or anyone’s, illness/disability is a punishment for a committed sin, but i do believe that first of all we have a ‘fault’ in our mind and this if not treated early results in a corresponding ‘fault’ in our body.

    While clearly losing a limb is not the type of thing that any degree of psychotherapy can ever ‘correct’ many things we ‘suffer’ from physically derive from some kind of incorrect ‘thinking’/belief in our minds.

    Wishing for a miracle physical cure is unlikely to ever help us as much as delving into our belief and working out what our brains are doing that goes against The Will.

    That is not to say miracles cannot ever just ‘happen’ – but Jesus promised those who followed Him Truly would work greater miracles than He.

    God’s power works through US much of the time!

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