For many years I have known that healing can come as we worship.
Not necessarily the physical sort of healing so much, though increasingly that seems to be coming up on my radar, so I’m feeling a kind of ‘watch this space’ as regards that, but more the inner type of healing, where Jesus gets to deal with issues in our thinking and emotions bringing health and wholeness where there has been brokenness and dis-ease.
I believe, and have often taught, that our old ways of thinking and reacting to life can be substantially changed and healed by worshipping God, simply as we spend time with him for the purpose of enjoying and honouring him, as he is the essence of kindness and he loves to interact with us, this can take the form of healing.
It had been my experience that he does this over time rather than in an instant, but recently I have seen that I just hadn’t known anything different for myself, and so I limited my expectation. As I have now experienced him healing old wounds and hurts in a moment’s encounter with him, my expectation has changed accordingly. Now I would come into his presence with hope for breakthrough in areas that I hadn’t even considered possible for change before.
I know he is a God who heals, both in the immediate and gradually, I have many examples of him healing me throughout my life, so this confidence is based on solid experiential evidence as well as knowing what the bible says about such things, yet I had unintentionally set the healing of my inner being outside of the bounds of any expectation other than a gradual improvement.
Julian Adams says our expectation is God’s invitation, and if that is the case, I wasn’t inviting him to do anything very dramatic for me in this area.
But. It seems to me he was waiting for me….for me to come to him with no agenda and just to spend extended time with him, and as we see from the gospels time and again, no one spends time with Jesus and stays the same.
I guess it was a timing thing too, not just ‘When will you spend time with me with no agenda?’ but as an old minister of ours used to say, God works by events, not just according to a calendar but by the things that are going on in us and in our lives, so maybe there had been a few shifts which made progress more likely, I know I’ve been seeking him for growth and a greater tenderness of heart and have seen a deepening of this over time, so perhaps those changes had been more significant than I’d realised.
Whatever it was though, when I spent extended time with him, with no agenda, he met me and healed me.
He cares about my well-being, and yours too.
I had done all the usual things to bring about change and healing, the forgiving, and the understanding of others’ lives, and their own woundedness, so I thought I was as healed as I was going to get in the immediate.
My expectation wasn’t that he would do anything particular, but he went beyond my experience and my expectation, and intervened, he responded to my longing for more, and for change, but in a way I never would have thought likely.
So now, I am having to get used to a different interior landscape, not much seems to be the same as it was just a short while ago.
I suppose just as there comes a point where pushing on a door that’s firmly stuck shut is finally successful and it flies open, so there has been provocation from God, seeking from me, and eventually, in the mercy and grace of God, there has been a real life changing breakthrough.
Intimacy with him is not a sentimental waste of time, it is a powerful reality which can bring about change, the conception of new ideas and plans, and even the fulfilment of long held dreams and desires, much like any deeply loving relationship, and why wouldn’t it be.
We love because he first loved us. He draws us in, to be captivated by him, caught up in his beauty, awed by his mercy, brought to tears by his kindness, amazed by his skill and finesse, dumbfounded by the truth of his love for the one you see in the mirror… Oh yes, we are healed during worship.