God Is Your Healer
I have a lot of names. Many names. My friends, they call me Allen. On legal documents, I'm Allen R Hunt. When I teach, my students call me Dr. Hunt. My childhood friends, they call me Sugar Bear. My high school friends, they call me Bruner. My girls and my grandkids, I'm Poppy. And yes, to my mother, I'm precious. Different names, but all the same person.
God gives us a lot of names to call him by; Yahweh, Abba, Father, Jehovah. And one of the wonderful Hebrew old Jewish words, old wonderful names for God is Rapha. Healer. Rapha. God is your healer. It makes sense after all, doesn't it? I mean, God made you. You didn't come out of nothing. You were formed by the hand of God. You began as God's idea. He took the dust and the clay of the earth, he shaped you in his hands, he opened your nostrils, and blew in his breath. He created you. He formed you. He made you.
So, it only makes sense. He can heal you. He is the author of life. He is Rapha, your healer. And the gospel of Mark makes that play. Mark devotes more time in his little, shortest gospel of all, more time to Jesus’ healing than any other gospel. In Mark, Jesus heals a man with an unclean spirit. He heals Peter's mother-in-law. He heals all the sick who came to him. He heals a leper. He heals a paralyzed man. He heals a man with a deformed hand. He heals many. He heals a man possessed by a legion of demons. He heals a little girl near death. He heals a woman hemorrhaging for years. He heals the sick wherever he went. He heals a Syrophoenician woman's daughter. He heals a deaf man, a blind man, a boy with a spirit, and he heals blind Bartimaeus. In this tiny gospel that's barely 16 chapters, there are at least 16 stories of healing. An average of one time per chapter. Do you think the Gospel writer Mark is trying to teach us something?
In the Gospel today, Jesus heals a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. As he does that, the people are quote, "astonished beyond measure," unquote. And they say he has done all things well, Rapha. God is your healer.
Even Harvard knows it. In a Harvard study, 90% of doctors think faith has a healing effect. 90%. Only 70% of the population thinks that. In other words, more doctors than patients believe in the power of faith. And, Lord, do we need your healing? For a body riddled with cancer, Lord, we need your healing. For heart loaded with grief, Lord, we need your healing. For a mind addicted to prescription medication, Lord, we need your healing. For a soul attached to gambling, Lord, we need your healing. For a heart restless in life, seeking purpose, never finding it, Lord, we need your healing. For a relationship broken and torn apart, Lord, we need your healing. Lord, we need your healing. Say it with me, Lord, we need your healing.
How does God heal? Sometimes, obviously, God works through miracles. Sometimes God heals through the faith of family and friends like the deaf man brought by his friends who ask Jesus to heal him. He's healed because of them. Their faith. Sometimes God heals through the faith of the people around us. God heals through doctors and medicine. And of course, sometimes God heals through time.
Those who worked with someone who's just lost a spouse know that it's going to take time to heal. Time and prayer for the grief and the pain will possibly be healed. No one fully understands how God heals or God's timing or even all of his ways. We don't always know how. We can't fully explain why. And sometimes God doesn't heal on this side of the river. But that doesn't make it any less true. We have faith. If something doesn't work right, if it's broken, you take it to the one who can fix it, right? Jesus is the Great Physician. The one who made you. The one who will make you whole. His name is Healer.
So today, I invite you to identify an area of your life that needs healing, the healing touch of Jesus. For the next seven days, spend some time each day, maybe five minutes in the presence of God, just in silent prayer. Meditate on this story, envision Jesus healing the man, and hear the words of the people reverberate around you, "He has done all things well." Bring to mind the healing you need and perhaps hold a crucifix just gently in your hands and rub your fingers over the cross and over the body of Jesus. Invite his healing touch in your life. For it's true, God is your healer. He has done all things well and he loves you more than you will ever know.