Healing is a personal gift I’ve received from God on multiple occasions. I’ve come to view healing as miraculous regardless of how it occurs. James 1:16-18 tells us “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Good comes only from God, by His grace and His blessing.
I believe that there are four types of healing that take place among the people of this world, those who will one day be citizens of heaven and those who will not.
First is miraculous healing. Healing such as Jesus gifted people in the gospels recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Perhaps my favorite account of Jesus healing is found in Luke 8: 40-48. A woman had suffered for 12 years from a “subject of bleeding” and “no one could heal her.” She knew of Jesus ability to heal and she recognized Him, I believe, as the Messiah but most certainly as one whose gift of healing was from God. She was considered unclean by her fellow Jews. She was not allowed in the synagogue or to eat or be with her family. Everything she touched was considered unclean. She was an outcast because she was sick and no man had knowledge to save her. No doubt she had prayed for those 12 years for healing. At last God was going to answer her prayer. For with all her faith focused on one thing she was determined to find what she sought. Healing.
She possessed so much faith in Jesus’ healing gift that she believed if only she could touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. So she pushed her way through the crowds surrounding Jesus who was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue. At last this dear woman managed to touch Jesus’ cloak, just the edge, and immediately she was healed. The bleeding stopped.
Just as quickly Jesus knew what had happened and He wanted to know who touched Him. He wanted to know who He had healed. Right? No. Jesus knew all along who had received an answer at last to their prayers of 12 years. He knew the woman would be there that day and He knew what she sought. He knew of her faith and her heart. He wanted to let the people know of this woman’s healing. He wanted her to be a testimony of His healing gift to her. It wasn’t to embarrass her. It was to uplift her in the eyes of her community. To restore her to them. He wanted her to know her prayers were answered. Her faith was valid and a testament of her heart. Twelve years is a long time to wait for an answer to prayer. So Jesus pressed to know who had touched Him and bravely she came forth.
I can imagine the gasps of the people in the crowd around Jesus that day. As a woman ceremonially unclean for 12 years I am sure the entire community and beyond knew of her separation from everyone. Yet in the presence of all those people, people who had shunned her for 12 years she fell at Jesus feet and told Him what He already knew, that she had been bleeding for 12 years and no physician had been able to make it stop. She told Him that just by touching the hem of his cloak she had been healed. Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Jesus use of the word daughter here “was a tender address used nowhere else in Jesus’ recorded words.”*
This woman’s healing was miraculous. Instant once she touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak. But not instant in the sense of the number of times she held on during those 12 years praying and believing for a miracle. If she didn’t care about not being able to enter the synagogue would it have bothered her to be considered unclean? If her family were not devoted to the Jewish faith would they have participated in the required restraints?
The second type of healing I believe comes from God is the healing from the knowledge He has allowed mankind to have. James 1:16-18 tells us “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” and I conclude that includes the abilities of medicine, surgery and other medical services. The healing may not be as instant as the touch from the Great Physician’s hand but it is healing just the same. And the knowledge is allowed by God to be used for all. This healing comes with another edge to it for modern medicine and scientific knowledge has begun to seek and find ways to create life and just as everything can be used for good or evil, I believe so can medical and scientific knowledge. Mankind always seeks a Tower of Babel. Always seeks to reach to a status they cannot have or ever be. Nonetheless medical knowledge has saved my life on numerous occasions and I count those occasions as gifts of healing from God though delivered via the knowledge of doctors and surgeons.
The third type of healing is a combination of the first and second. We and our doctors and medical staff do their part and Jesus’ does His.
The fourth type of healing is the ultimate healing. The healing that occurs when God calls us home to be with Him. Then it all ceases. Our bodies are whole and new again. Our hearts no longer feel pain. Our bodies no longer bleed or break or know pain. The hurts and pains of this world are left far behind, so far we forget they existed. We are whole. We are healed. We are home.
So when I pray for healing for anyone, including myself, I do not limit God. I ask for His will in the situation, not for what I’d like to have or see happen. Sure I grow weary of fighting all the illnesses and breakdowns of my earthly body. I grow tired of the extra effort and limits my amputation and continuing Lymphedema, blood clots, depression, anemia and anxiety cause. But I am here and I have known both the miraculous healing, the healing through the knowledge allowed to doctors and surgeons and a combination of both. And one day, in God’s time I will know the fourth and final type of healing.
See that woman dancing all over the golden streets of Heaven? The woman kneeling before her Savior? The one leaping with joy? That woman is me.
*Per New International Version of the Bible study notes on Luke 8:48,