Holistic Healing

11 02 2006

Holistic Healing

Scripture:
Leviticus 15:25-27  (NIV)  25″ ‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

Matthew 9:20-22 (NIV)  20Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.


Observations:
The short story from the book of Matthew is a familiar one to me.  It wasn’t a part of today’s reading, but it was brought back to mind as I read Leviticus today.  These chapters in Leviticus are difficult to read.  They refer to bleeding, open sores, boils, and all manner of “icky” things.

Yet, as I read about how a woman must conduct herself when she is bleeding – especially if that bleeding is “abnormal,” it struck me the significance of Jesus’ encounter with the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.

First, there is being ostracized.  For twelve, long years, she has had to declare herself unclean.  That is twelve, long years of isolation, loneliness, and rejection.  Twelve, long years of being alone and discouraged.

Second, there is the work involved.  Everything she touches must be cleansed.  Everything is unclean until she washes it.  That is a lot of work – especially when you’re not feeling well.  She is weak, discouraged, and alone – now she has to wash everything she touches.

Third, there is the illness itself.  Is there pain?  Is she weak?  Is she eating well?  Has her blood become imbalanced and is she deteriorating?

Fourth, there is the dilemma of not touching others.  As the text says, anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening and must wash everything.  That means, if she were to touch Jesus, she would risk making Him unclean.  What would He say?  How would He react?

For years, she has been ostracized, yelled at, and ignored by those who wouldn’t risk being made unclean by her and her “illness.”  They were more afraid of the work it would take to “cleanse” themselves than they were in seeking what was best for this woman.  In other words, they didn’t put her welfare above their own.  It didn’t matter to them that she was lonely, discouraged, or in pain.  They just didn’t want to be “bothered” by her affliction.

Now, as hope wells up inside of her, she wonders if this is her opportunity to be healed?  But she can’t just walk up to this mighty man of God and risk His rejection.  She devises a plan to secretly reach out and touch his garment.  She says, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

But Jesus, who was never surprised by any events, knew she was there – and He speaks to her.  He could have healed her without any interaction – but she needed emotional healing as well as physical healing.  His love and compassion made up for the years of loneliness.  She needed to be acknowledged – to be affirmed.  Emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually – she was made whole at that moment.

Also, by speaking to her, it took away any hint that the power was in the garment.  The power is from God – not some superstitious hocus-pocus of a magic garment.

Mark 5:31 (NIV)  31“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

The disciples were incredulous.  “What!?”  They asked.  “We’re in the middle of this throng – this mob – and you ask, ‘Who touched me!!!???’”

Jesus is never surprised.  He knew this woman.  He knew her needs.  He knew her faith.  He healed her – through and through.


Application:
So, here I sit – in need of healing.  For years I have been ostracized, rejected, and cast aside.  For years I have lived a life without healing from physical defects.  But deeper than that is the spiritual sickness that pervades me.  Then, as I ponder it, I realize that emotionally and socially I need healing.  

Romans 3:22-24 (NIV) 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Just under a month ago, my Mom died.  It has been a good time of healing and we have worked through the process.  The trip to Portland for her memorial service.  Putting her ashes in the Pacific Ocean at Seaside.  It was a good trip.  But just when I thought I was ready to move on, I get this flu bug that kicks my butt.

So, the question is.  Do I trust Jesus to heal my whole soul – or do I resign myself to pain, discouragement, and disrepair?

I choose to trust Him.


Prayer:
Dear Lord, please give me strength, courage, hope, and peace.  I can only rely upon you Lord – nothing else.

Please forgive me for relying on anything outside of your power.  Please forgive me for seeking any remedy outside of your power!

I’m here God – take me into your presence and heal me.

Thanks God – I love you too!

gw

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One response

12 02 2006
craig bennett

Gary I pray for your ongoing healing, that you will give yourself time out to rest and to recieve ministry from others. (not that I’m saying you are not doing this)

I pray that the lord will pluck the arrow head of pain and loss from your family, I pray that you will be a fruitful and effective husband, father, minister of the gospel and above all enjoy and revel in the love of our heavenly father.

I pray for your natural father as well, that he will find deep peace and comfort in his living Lord, that any darkness of depression and oppression will lift of him in Jesus name.

I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit he will have the strength to go on living a fruitful life, and will find strength and true comfort in the Lord in the midst of his loneliness.

Blessings Gary.

Craig b

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