Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Healing

I've often heard preachers talk about God as being 'the God who heals' and making statements to the effect of 'God doesn't want you to be ill, He wants to heal you'.

But, to be honest, I don't know anybody who has been genuinely healed - and by this I mean that they had a confirmed medical condition, were healed, and then they were checked by a doctor and found not to have any trace of the condition at all.

My friend Chris tells of his healing experience on his blog. But while I accept that God did something for Chris in his illness, there was no full healing - medical intervention and a pretty major surgical operation were also required.

The skeptic James Randi has devoted some time to following up people who have claimed to have been healed after attending 'healing' services, etc. He visited folk a year after the alleged healing and found that in every instance the people fell into one of three categories:
  1. People who had never been medically diagnosed with anything prior to the 'healing'
  2. People who were still medically diagnosed with the condition, but were often in denial of the fact, and
  3. People who had died (often from the condition) in the intervening period.
Furthermore, he has done some 'behind the scenes' investigation of these big 'healing events' that do the rounds in the USA and elsewhere. He says he frequently observed people who had no mobility issues being ushered onto the stage in wheelchairs and then encouraged to stand up and walk to the 'healer'. The audience sees this and thinks 'wow! that person in the wheelchair is walking' but this is not healing - this is deceit. Furthermore, people with genuine mobility issues were kept so far back in the queue that they never made it to the stage during the meeting.

OK, there are charlatans out there who do the fake thing and deceive the gullible, but what about real healing? Does this happen anywhere? I want to believe that it does, but I haven't seen it. And I have seen several 'good Christian' people suffering and dying with diseases like MS and cancer without any healing. Yes, they may be given strength to endure and have periods of remission, but I have not known anyone to be fully healed.

Does God heal absolutely?

6 comments:

Mike said...

I've seen some almost-healing happen to me, but bear with me, it's a strange story!

I'd never had eczema in my life, thankfully. No rashes, no allergies, nothing. My skin was robust and could take a lot of punishment.

My girlfriend on the other hand had really, really bad eczema on her face and it really destroyed her self-esteem and made her not want to see people.

One night I prayed that God take it away from her and give it to me, and within a week and since then she's not had any eczema on her face again and my legs and sometimes lower chest and eyes are covered in it.

Bit strange and not quite healing, but miraculous nonetheless.

When I told my girlfriend about this, she just said:

"Why didn't you just pray for God to take it away from me rather than give it to you! Honestly...."

:D

Ricky Carvel said...

Thanks Mike!

Very interesting. So the illness was not healed, as such, but transferred to you (and notably, to a part of your body where it wasn't as obvious as it had been for your girlfriend). Cool.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways. But this is more in line with my observations of 'healing' in the past - God does something but that something is not generally outright healing.

And regarding your girlfriend asking why you didn't just ask for it to be removed, this reminds me of something I have heard a few preachers talk about - you weren't given the faith for outright healing, but you were given the faith for transferring the illness to yourself.

And I'm sure you understand what Christ did on the cross for all of us just a bit better now, having carried the infirmities of your girlfriend...

R.

David Meldrum said...

Haven't got time for a long comment...

Suffice to say my wife was healed of ME - which causes some people a few problems as ME is notoriously hard to define medically and to diagnose. Anyway, she was badly ill when they started praying, and didn't have those same symptoms ever again. Some people say "well it's only ME"; all I can say is that you wouldn't say 'only ME' if you suffered from it for years.

I personally was healed of an injured back during my finals at uni, much to my doctor's astonishment; and I have seen people healed when we have prayed for them at different times.

Sitting alongside this...my wife's mother still died of cancer, I still have a long standing (chronic) medical condition that has not changed with repeated prayer, and we don't see half the answers we would like to. But that doesn't stop us asking, and as you say God does remarkable things in sustaining people (like me) to bear illnesses/conditions. John Wimber's kingdom understaning using a D-Day/VE analogy is helpful here, but I just don't have time to expand just now...happy to do so in a quieter period.

We don't get everything we want (that's just life, I'm afraid), but my experience is that God heals somethimes and not others; and I have met people who have experienced some genuinely astonoshing healings. It can be a hard and painful road, but I can still say, every day I wake up in agony, that God is good and that he heals.

Sorry for the brevity, I know that it's an inadequate answer, but gotta go...

Dave

Chris HH said...

Does God heal? Absolutely!

First, it is my opinion that all healing, miraculous or not, comes from God. The skill of the surgeon is a gift from God, and even the natural healing process of our bodies comes from the way we are fearfully and wonderfully made. All good gifts come from the Father of lights.

Natural events can still be the means of supernatural provision. If I pray for an urgent need of £510, and within an hour a friend turns up on the door with cheque for that exact amount, that is an answered prayer, even though, naturally speaking, nothing miraculous has happened.

Having said that, supernatural and miraculous healings can and do happen. They may not happen as often or as categorically as we may like, but that's another issue.

If you would like some testimonies of outstanding miraculous healings, can I point you to the blog of Chandrakant Chavada, a man I have met several times and trust completely. Here are a couple of notable posts:

Chhagan receives eyesight
God heals people

Saaz said...

Praise the Lord that your girlfriend is now eczema-free! That was a really selfless thing to pray for.. may God bless you! Having suffered from eczema myself (i had it on my face too...) i know the heartbreaking effects of the condition. But there is always hope in God, and 'By His Stripes, We Are Healed!' (Isaiah 53:4)
I can honestly say that i now no longer suffer from the condition; no more itching, scratching, agony. I can sleep peacefully at night without any disturbances! All Glory to Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! May God Bless you all. And remember, God is always faithful, always able, and always willing. You just have to believe.

Saaz said...

Mike, Praise the Lord that your girlfriend no longer has to suffer from her eczema (i have had it in the past, i know the effects it has on ones self-esteem...)and i just want to say that was a very selfless thing for you to pray for. Our God is so good to us! I have personally experienced healing myself, having suffered from eczema on various parts of my body (including face) and the Lord has healed me! No more itching, no more agony. I can sleep peacefully at night with confidence that the eczema has bowed down to the Lord and surrendered! 'By His Stripes, We Are Healed!' (Isaiah 53:4)
God Bless you!