The Healing Father

Today I wanted to write to you about one of my favorite characteristics of God, a compassionate Healer.

We tend to think of God as our Savior, Redeemer, and Judge. We sometimes forget that He is the God who not only saves, He heals and delivers.

When Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick,~ Matt 14:14.

God forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, ~Psalm 103:3.

He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chatisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed,~ Isaiah 53:5.

My dad, Papa W is a chaplin. He goes all over the city praying for the sick. He keeps a log of answered prayers and those God has touched with healing from physical, emotional, or spiritual sickness. Growing up reading about healing in the Bible, watching my dad pray for the sick, hearing the stories, seeing the stories, solidified the belief for me that God still heals people. He is the Healer.

Some believe God doesn’t heal anymore. Some believe God only heals certain people or through special people. Well, if you search out the scriptures you will find that God is the Healer, and He used ordinary people to heal the sick. Jesus commissioned the disciples to go and heal the sick and pray for the oppressed. These are the same disciples who fought over who would be the greatest, who denied Him, fell asleep when He needed their prayers, and were often filled with doubt and unbelief. These were regular people called by God to do great things. If you are a follower of Jesus, you’re an ordinary person called to do extraordinary things for God.

If you don’t believe God still heals people, I can say I’m a living testimony that He does. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the power of prayer. I am a child my mother never thought she’d have due to sickness. She was healed and along came me. She was also blessed to have more children.

I am the person who almost died from an allergic reaction to medication, who lived and now lives a healthy life. I remember the doctor telling me after my surgery that they didn’t know what exactly went wrong, why I couldn’t breathe on my own and my resting pulse was in the 150s. I remember being a frightened teen wondering if I’d be normal again. I went from healthy to sick in one day. I recall crying out to God for relief because taking 8-10 pills a day wasn’t how I wanted to live. Many prayers were prayed, and I’m happy to be healthy today. I don’t have a story of some special person coming to pray for me. Most of my encounters with the miraculous have come from prayers to God.

One of the most powerful encounters I had with Abba came after being trapped in a car under water. See previous posts (Me & Abba or My Hero). That accident left me fearful of confined spaces. If I were stuck in traffic, I’d have a sense of dread that I would be trapped in my car. Seems unreasonable, but once you’ve been under water in a car thinking that’s your last moment on earth, you just don’t know how your body will respond. I tried to pray fear away, to no avail. I even went to a pastor and asked for prayer. He told me to seek a counselor. That wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to talk through my fear. I wanted delivered from my fear. I left church that Sunday and began to talk with God. I said something along these lines, “I know you can fix this problem. You died for my freedom. I don’t want to live another day afraid. God fix me.” In that moment, God did something for me that no person could. I was overwhelmed by His presence and His love. I never had another panic attack or fear of being trapped. I knew God healed. I knew He delivered. When you’re the person needing help you sometimes forget all Jesus paid for.

Dear friends, Jesus didn’t just pay to forgive you of sins. He paid for healing. He paid for freedom. He paid for deliverance. He paid so that you and I could have life abundantly. There is no sickness in God’s presence, there is no fear, or torment, or pain. Jesus paid for life, peace, and joy.

Looking back it’s good to recall what He’s done. I’m an ordinary person and since that day I’ve seen God heal other people.

In 2008 I was on a mission trip in Brazil and a lady came up for prayer with a disfigured hand. She told the interpreter that she had never been able to fully use her hand. I was hesitant to pray for her as I saw her desperation, and I wanted so desperately for her to be healed. We (another lady and I) laid hands on her and watched as God took a crooked hand and made it whole. I was more shocked than she was! She ran through the church telling others what had happened and they wanted prayer for ailments as well. I saw God’s love in an even deeper way that day. This ladies dream became a reality because someone prayed, and God heals.

My dear friends, God heals. He’s still in the healing business. I have not seen every person with physical sickness prayed for get healed of sickness, but I’ve seen enough to keep me seeking Him for the healing of the sick in the world. Jesus paid for healing. I have seen those oppressed set free, and the spiritual sick restored. It’s by God’s love, and compassion. God is the Healer. And He loves you. He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things!

Encountering the Master Gardener

What I’ve Learned about God Through Gardening

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clipart

Erin Lamb, all rights reserved.

God is in all things, all we have to do is look closely. I have found some applicable life lessons in my time spent tending to a garden or plants. So, come with me on the journey to encountering God in the garden.

We reap what we sow-meaning what we plant is what comes to the surface. A gardener would be horrified if they found what they planted in the ground is not what they have at harvest time. They planted tomatoes, but somehow grew corn.

Often in life I think we are shocked to see negative things breaking through the surface of our lives. We scratch our heads and say,”Where did this come from?” We neglect to ask ourselves what seeds are planted in our minds and hearts. Out of the mouth the heart speaks (Matthew 12:34b). If the seeds planted in our hearts are seeds of un-forgiveness, unbelief, hatred, selfishness, jealousy, envy, strife, or lust-that is what will break forth.  Where do the seeds originate from? Seeds are planted in our minds and make their way to our hearts; that is where each seed, either good or bad is planted. What we allow to sink in and take root is what will blossom in our lives. It’s to our benefit to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God’s word (2 Cor. 10:5).

We reap more than we sow. Seeds yield more than the small seed planted. If we invest in what is good, there are great things that will spring forth, more than what was sown.

Plants need light, water, and pruning. So do we. God is light. Everything good, He encompasses. He is the source of life.  Plants left inside turn themselves to grow towards the light. The plants need the light to grow and thrive. Without the light, the plants will wither and die. We need God to grow and thrive. Some plants (like ivy) will climb over any obstacle to get its light source. How would our lives be different if nothing stopped us from seeking the light?

Another important part of plant development involves watering. I left a plant with a friend while in Australia and we she returned it, the leaves were withered and limp. It was still alive, but looked a bit sick. Once the plant was watered it perked up. I liken my sick plant to the spiritual condition of the human soul. If the love of God is not being poured in, if truth is not saturating the soul, it begins to dry up. Water is crucial to life. We can’t wait for church services to meet with God or have our hearts filled by Him. It is a daily drawing near to Him. He is standing there with His water pitcher saying “Here is more love, more truth, more hope, more revelation, and more encouragement. Now grow, thrive!

The last point is the beauty of pruning, weeding, and attentive care. If you have a garden you are aware that weeds will try to crowd out your beloved plants. They will attempt to rob the soil of nutrients and have the potential to kill your crop or flowers. Our weeds may be described as discouragement, deception, unbelief, or fear. Those things must be quickly uprooted before they crowd out faith, hope, and love. Gardeners care for what they have planted. They have invested in what they have sown.

God is the master gardener, and He is invested in you. He loves you. God wants you to grow and thrive, and not just for His own personal satisfaction.  He also wants to bless everyone around you. My greatest satisfaction as a gardener is being able to give away the fruit of my labor. God loves you infinitely more than I love my plants. He has so much invested in you. Praying you not only grow, but thrive.