Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miracle Monday

I've mentioned before my Charismatic friend. Her church is having a revival this week, and she invited me to go last night. It was designated as "Miracle Monday", and they were encouraging anyone who wanted prayer for a miracle in their life to come. She knows about my sleep problems . . . did I want to have prayer for that? Well, heck, yeah! Pray, anoint, slap me around, whatever.

So, I went. I did pause a moment during the service to consider the progression of my faith over the years. The first time I heard someone speak in tongues, I kind of freaked. Now, it doesn't really faze me. I have my questions about the whole idea, but I don't put God in a box anymore and tell him how he does and doesn't work in people's lives. This wasn't the kind of worship service I would feel comfortable attending on a regular basis, but it was appropriate for my needs last night.

They prayed over me. They anointed me with oil in the name of the Lord, just like it says in James. I went home tired, although that's typical. And then I slept about like usual, maybe slightly worse. Not that I was expecting instantaneous change -- healing isn't always instantaneous. Actually, I'm not sure I was really expecting healing at all.

And therein lies my problem now, wondering if I "did this wrong" somehow. Here's the thing with me and healing: I absolutely believe that God can heal me of whatever is causing my sleep problems. Absolutely no doubt in my mind. But, God can heal anyone of anything, and he doesn't always do it. So, it's not a question of can he, but will he. And if he doesn't, I assume there's something else he has in mind. As I've said before, I've started to wonder if this isn't my own version of Paul's thorn in the flesh -- something to keep me humbled, to keep me always dependent on him.

Like the two alcoholics who got saved. One of them never wanted a drink again for the rest of his life -- a miracle. The other craved alcohol every hour of every day, but never drank again -- and that's just as much of a miracle. The fact that I've lived with this kind of sleep deprivation for years, apparently, and have not had a major car accident, or abused my children, or destroyed my marriage, that I've been able to continue living life pretty successfully . . . that's definitely a God thing.

I guess I find it a bit presumptuous to expect God to jump at my words and fix me all up just because some evangelist labeled this "Miracle Monday" and I decided to act on that. On the other hand, something keeps nagging at me that if God does have a miracle to do in my life, he may want me to participate in that miracle by believing it's going to happen, without any reason to believe it other than the fact that God says he's Jehovah Rapha, The God Who Heals. SIGH.

I believe, Lord. Help me my unbelief.


Some lady from Pittsburgh said...

Have you ever read my son's journal? http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/levimatthew. I'm quite skeptical of "healing services" myself (I'm a good Presbyterian, lol), but God performed a huge miracle in Levi's life. He worked both supernaturally and through medical science. I think that we need to learn to be sensitive to when God wants to work miraculously and when he wants us to learn something the hard way or He is building us up. Sometimes, he performs miracles, but when He doesn't, it's not a hard and fast sign that we weren't "faithful enough." It might just mean He is doing something else in the situation. If everyone were supernaturally healed every time they went to a big healing event, God's miraculous works wouldn't seem so miraculous.

Donna said...

Did I ever tell you the story of my healing from Lyme Disease? I had reached the point, after several months of oral antibiotics, where I was getting worse and had scheduled an appointment with an infectious disease specialist to start IV therapy. I was deperately praying and was blessed to have literally hundreds of people praying for me, yet there was no improvement.

One day, I became very convicted about the James passage. (At that time, we were attending a very fundamental church, where anointing was not something that was routinely practiced or even acknowleged openly) God "spoke to me" about my pride preventing me from asking to be anointed by the elders. Humbled, I decided to do that. Within an hour, the sister of a friend (we were not in frequent contact) called and her first words were, "Have you ever thought to have the elders anoint you with oil?" That was quick confirmation!

But before I could even make the call to the church, we left on a short homeschool trip to Washington DC for three days, staying at my sister's home. I was going to try to at least go into the city the first day, and then Ted agreed to take the boys when I had to stay in bed for the rest of the time. Miraculously, I felt stronger and stronger each day that we were there. By the time we returned home, brain fog had lifted and I was sure that I had been healed.

It was confirmed by the ID dr. two weeks later -- After an extensive exam (including neuro and heart), he said that if he didn't know better, he would think that I had never had Lyme. I responded, "Do you believe that God can heal?"
Amazingly he said yes.I was so glad that God could get all the glory!

And, no, I never actually made the request of my pastor/elders and I never was anointed. I believe that my heart change and willingness was what God was looking for. Humbling myself before Him in obedience to His Word. Not easy for someone who likes to feel in control.

Will keep you in my prayers, Gwen.