I think most of us who call ourselves followers of Christ would affirm that God can heal. Certainly if God could raise His own Son up from the grave, He can also heal any of our infirmities.
But the real question that often divides believers is not can God heal, but does God heal? Some claim that God will always heal if we just have enough faith. Others claim that every once in a while God might choose in His sovereignty to heal someone, but this is rare.
I have always been in the latter camp. I suppose I still am, but recently I have become much more open to the idea that not only can God heal but He does heal.
For some time now I have struggled with a bad knee. About ten years ago, I had knee surgery, and then about five years ago the same knee flared up again. I went to the doctor and he said I needed more surgery. I had to wait to have the surgery until after I returned from the Philippines where I was speaking at a pastors conference. While there, a fellow pastor saw me limping and asked if he could pray for my knee. “Of course,” I said, thinking this is one of those kinds of pastors. He grasped my knee and prayed for healing. I walked away, not thinking a whole lot about it, but within a few days my knee pain was mostly gone, and I never returned to my doctor for his prescribed surgery.
Okay, I was convinced that sometimes, in rare cases, God does heal.
Fast forward five years. My knee pain was back and I am thinking that it is time to see the doctor again. After preaching one Sunday, I was standing in our church lobby. A woman I had recently met approached me and asked if she could pray for me.
“Of course,” I said.
Then she said, “I think it’s your knee.”
There is no reason she would have known about my knee. So, I thought, “Lord, again? What is it about this knee that you care so much about? There are far worse problems you could fix besides my knee!”
She prayed for my knee right then and there. With so much to do that day, I completely forgot about her prayer until two days later. While descending a stairway (something that had been hard to do for a while with knee pain), I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, “My knee pain is gone!”
Again, my knee is not perfect, but it is way better.
It’s quite interesting that the “spiritual gift” of healing found in 1 Corinthians 12:9 is actually plural in the Greek. It is literally translated “gifts of healings.” So, it is not like someone has the “gift” of healing with a guarantee that he or she will always be able to heal anyone they desire. But God does distribute gifts of healing—individual instances where He chooses to use someone to heal.
I am not sure what to make of all this, but I am convinced of a few things:
- God really does care about my knee.
- Not only can God heal, but He does.
- I have often limited God.
- I am thankful for people who listen to the Lord and step out in faith.
- Healing doesn’t always mean perfection.