One of the blogs I read this week stuck with me, not so much because of the blog itself though. It was actually a book review and the book was telling stories of experiences the author had while helping Mother Teresa and how God dealt with her. I may need to buy that book since I find the stories of the walks of others to be more helpful than any weighty theological tome. I believe testimony helps to open our eyes to God. But of course, this was a review, so they decided to start a discussion and asked if the readers met the story with belief or skepticism, kind of a default setting in our society, since we were of course dealing with the supernatural.
Now the story was very short and mostly just descriptive. The woman had been caring for a critically ill baby. The baby eventually recovered and then showed unusual interest in a picture window of Jesus. The nuns found this to be spiritually auspicious. It seems pretty straightforward to me. And yet the comments leaned heavily toward skepticism. One remarked that there are so many abuses that he automatically questions any such story. Now I could understand that, if the author were a tv preacher out to fleece the flock, but for the life of me, I can’t see a motive here for making it up. Nor is it a story that the child was instantaneously healed upon seeing the picture, so we should make it a shrine. It seems like the child was healed with a combination of medicine, loving care, most likely prayer and time. With a baby, it is impossible to really know why he liked the picture and he would be unlikely to remember the situation by the time he acquired language, so my take on the response, which gave me a heavy heart,is unbelief.
Perhaps it is because I have an interest in God’s healing, but it seems that in that area in particular, unbelief is rampant. I have to wonder why anyone would question that God heals in the first place. God says I am your healer, way back in Exodus. It is simply one of His names. And then Jesus came and everywhere He went he healed people. It wasn’t just the one or two whose stories were highlighted in the gospels. Apparently they came in crowds and He healed them all. And then, just in case we would try to say that only He could do this, He sent out the twelve, and later the 72 and they were able to heal as well. In the early years of the church, it was assumed that Christians would be able to pray over someone and bring about healing.
How did we lose this? God is our healer and He gave us the authority to heal through Christ in us. Has God changed? I thought it was a point of doctrine that God does not change. So if we assume, when we encounter a story of healing that He had nothing to do with it, is that not unbelief? And isn’t unbelief rather strongly condemned in both old and new testaments? How sad must God be that we are still being taken in by the lie that we can explain everything by using our intellects. Wasn’t that the point of the temptation in the Garden? We have been trying to force God to fit our preconceptions ever since, but you will not find life that way, but only by letting God be God, infinite, holy and incomprehensible.
I want to say to those who find such a simple story incomprehensible, try suspending your disbelief for just a bit. Maybe it is true. Perhaps God, who cared enough to send us Jesus, still cares enough to heal sometimes, especially if we ask Him. Maybe you could admit that you don’t understand how it works, but ask anyway. Maybe you could start by asking Him to begin healing your unbelief.