April 8, 2009
“As many as touched Him were made perfectly whole.”
Matthew 14: 36, King James Version
“Wholeness does not consist in removing a present source of travail; it demands a complete transformation.”
What do I think it means to be “whole”?
If I asked Jesus to make me whole, what changes would there be in my life?”
“Something must really change in the world, and this can come only through men (and women) who themselves are changed. But when a (woman) is changed under the influence of grace, then not only the state of (her) soul, but also (her) whole comportment, is changed. (She) is suddenly free from the old habits which kept (her) imprisoned, free from the rancor and remorse that consumed (her). (She has) become whole in a broken world.”
“(Woman) is not truly (woman) until (she) is God’s (woman).”
John A. Mackay
There are certain events in our lives that are impossible for us to forget. For good or bad, many of these moments involve memoires which like permanent ink, leave a mark that never goes away.
Not long after the car accident that nearly killed Jim and me, a comment was made that, while I didn’t know it at the time, completely changed the direction of my thinking and my life when it comes to the topic of “healing” and what it means to me, personally. An individual, who headed up a large prayer ministry, asked me about our car accident and she shared with me that she, too, had been in a severe motor vehicle accident. Then she asked me a question, “Were you healed?” I wasn’t exactly certain what she meant so I inquired, “What do you mean by the word ‘healed’?”
She replied that in her case she had no residual problems after her accident. No pain. No inability to get around. She was in perfect health.
I had to honestly tell her that in Jim’s case and mine, we had been left with deformities and daily pain that made it impossible for us to get around on certain days.
“Well,” she stated emphatically, “then you weren’t healed.”
The reason I share this incident with you is that everyday I receive prayer requests from so many precious people asking for healing from physical maladies, family turmoil, financial crisis and a host of other critical problems that would challenge anyone. And I know that for many years, in my own life, I had the misconception that if the problem I was praying about didn’t get relieved or disappear, that “healing” hadn’t taken place. Just like the individual who was talking to me, because my broken bones are stiff and my joints are swollen and the pain at times is absolutely unbearable, I felt it meant heaven’s healing hadn’t really touched my life. The same may go for you and the weight of problems you are carrying. Because the problems you face haven’t gone away, have you ever thought God wasn’t working on your behalf?
After being on the receiving end of the comment, “You aren’t healed,” I spent several years studying the ministry of Jesus, for no one, in the entire Bible, dealt in the most expansive and personal way with the ministry of healing than Jesus did. When we read in the book of Mark that after Jesus passed through villages and towns there was not one sick person left, all I have to say is that this is the most powerful “Healing Ministry” I’ve ever encountered. Think about your own city and what would happen if Jesus walked through your town and when He left every hospital and sick bed was empty. What a blessing!
But as I read about the healings Jesus performed, as recorded in the gospels, I found a word that kept being repeated and it was the word, “whole”. A word I have too often, conveniently overlooked, in my haste to get the release I want from an aching leg or shooting nerve pain or some other problem that plagues my life.
Please don’t misunderstand, if Jesus walked in my house today and touched Jim and me and all our bones were correctly aligned and we never had another second of pain again, you’d hear me shouting, “Hallelujah,” all around the world.
However, in my personal study on the topics of healing and wholeness, I’ve come to learn, accept and rejoice in a truth I hold much dearer today than just getting relief for a problem that is affecting me right now.
Here’s what I’ve learned. God is much more concerned about His “wholeness” filling my life than His “healing” repairing my body.
In Mark 6: 56 we are told that, “whithersoever He (Jesus) entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment: and as many touched Him were made whole.”
There is that word, “whole,” again. A word that in this text in the Greek means; “Delivered, Protected, Safe, Saved.”
Yes, Jesus came to earth to give healing to the hurting – but His greatest work was to bring wholeness to the broken. Jesus came to deliver the enslaved; to protect the frail; to bring safety to the vulnerable; and to save that which was lost.
His ministry wasn’t just to take away my pain today – it was to make me whole for eternity. As Evelyn Frost so correctly observed, “Christian healing is not mere negation of disease but a ministry of life to the whole personality.” All of my being is involved in the wholeness Jesus brings to me. Not just one bone or one pain or one problem, but it is the entirety of my life He longs to transform. I find this thought by Myron S. Augsburger extremely insightful for it helped me understand more clearly, in my own life, God’s “healing ministry.” He observed that Christians often think of “wholeness” which is closely related to the word “holiness” in moralistic terms. To be whole or holy doesn’t mean to only avoid what isn’t good or to appear perfectly fit. As he says, “It is related to the wholeness of life. God’s therapy is at the level of persons. His purpose is to make men and women whole in a broken world, to produce men and women (who) can demonstrate convincingly to our society what God really intends for man.”
This was Jesus’ healing ministry – a ministry that took the broken, fragmented pieces of lives and with heavenly grace, glued them back together again.
This week as you reflect on the ministry of Jesus on earth so many years ago, if there is a place in your life where you need healing, all you have to do is reach out to Jesus, for our Friend and Redeemer, is still passing from town to town and country to country bringing His gift of “wholeness” into broken lives, every minute of every day.
“Prayer for Wholeness”
Giver of Life
Bearer of Pain
Maker of Love
You are able to accept in us what we
cannot even acknowledge;
You are able to name in us what
we cannot bear to speak of;
You are able to hold in Your memory
what we have tried to forget;
You are able to hold out to us
the glory that we cannot conceive of.
Reconcile us through Your cross
to all that we have rejected in our selves,
that we may find no part of Your
creation to be alien or strange to us,
and that we ourselves may be made whole.
Through Jesus Christ, our lover and our Friend.
“I would be, dear Savior,
Teach me how, teach me how;
I would do Thy will, O Lord
not mine; help me, help me now.
What is worldly pleasure, wealth or fame,
without Thee, without Thee?
I will leave them all for Thy dear name,
this my wealth shall be.
As I cast earth’s transient joys behind,
come Thou near, come Thou near;
In Thy presence all in all I find,
‘Tis my comfort here.
Wholly Thine, wholly Thine,
this is my vow;
Wholly Thine, wholly Thine, O Lord,
F. E. Belden
“For she said within herself, ‘If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.’ But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, ‘Daughter (your name here), be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And the woman was made whole from that hour.”
Matthew 9: 21, 22, King James Version
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009
P.S. Thank you for coming to Transformation Garden. For the next eight days, we are taking a break from our studies about all the women in the Bible to focus on the greatest gift every given to humans, the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. I hope you pass along this free gift to your friends and family. Why not invite someone you care about to join you in the garden this week –www.transformationgarden.com
And you’ll also find the devotionals at Crosswalk.com.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.