One can scarcely open the New Testament of the Bible without encountering a miracle story, most often in the form of a physical healing. Jesus healed many – the blind began to see, the lame walked, and the mute were able to speak. We believe that Jesus’ healing ministry was not meant to end with His death. He commissioned the disciples to continue His work, not just by offering spiritual help, but also “healing” in a wide variety of ways.
The ultimate source of any healing is God Himself. Jesus is called upon as “the great physician, the healer of body and soul.” As such, medical intervention is not shunned, nor is concern for one’s health and proper preventative care devalued. While God is omnipotent and can heal, it is appropriate to safeguard one’s health and rely on the skills of surgeons, doctors, and nurses when necessary to help restore health.
At the same time, we recognize that there is more to reality than this world. The reversal of illness must not be pursued at all costs. The experience of illness, even when it is not cured, can be an opportunity to grow spiritually. Sickness can help unite the person to the suffering of Jesus, and in uniting with Him, aid in the growth of holiness.
In the end, the witness of Scripture is unanimous: God can heal, and faith can dispose us to His healing. But illness is no illusion; it has real causes and manifestations. The ultimate evil is not illness, but loss of relationship with God. As believers, we are called to follow God’s will for our lives in sickness and health, trusting in His presence whether or not we are healthy.
Let us pray. “God in heaven, grant the sick comfort in their suffering. If they are ever afraid, give them courage; if afflicted, give them patience; if dejected, afford them hope; and if ever alone, assure them of the love and support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”