In this article on healing and miracles, the author discusses the pain and agony of life and the forgiveness of sin.

Source: Clarion, 1998. 2 pages.

Healings and Miracles Today

I live ... also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.

Isaiah 57:15

Many people wish that the kinds of signs and miracles performed in crucial periods of the church’s life would continue today. Oh! to hear one like Moses tell us that tonight bread would rain down from heaven. Oh! to see one like Elijah who could strike a river and then walk right through it. What wouldn’t we give to see one like Jesus Christ touch a leper and make him clean; to hear Him command a storm, “Be still!”, and see it obey; to witness Him call to a dead man in a tomb, “Come out!” and to see him obey. That would be something.

We cannot read the Gospel narratives without becoming a little jealous of the people who lived in Palestine in those days. Some people so badly want to see these things today that they will imagine that the healings and the miracles are actually still happening.

Now, the thing that made many of our Lord’s miracles so brilliant was that the people He healed were in agony. We are riveted by the story of the leper’s plea for help when he said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean,” because we cannot imagine a more horrible existence than that of a leper. We are in suspense with the woman who was subject to bleeding for twelve years, as she thinks, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed,” and we secretly urge her on, because it must have been a very burdened life for her. We are moved to pity at the blind man outside Jericho crying out, “Son of David, have mercy!”

What makes the healing of each of these persons so brilliant is that these people were suffering so much. When God heals those who suffer, our hearts are thrilled by the demonstration of God’s compassion. The important thing, then, is this: At the centre is not so much the sign of power, but the deliverance from agony.

So we don’t need to be jealous after all. The act of healing and the brilliance of divine miracles are happening every day. In the Gospel narratives, we read of a certain kind of pathos – that of the sick, the maimed, the mad and the demon possessed. In the book of Psalms, we read about a different kind of pathos, but one that is deeper and more painful. In Psalm 32 David reflected on the pain he felt after sinning against God, because he refused to confess his sin. He said that it felt as though his bones where disintegrating. Spiritually, he was in such agony that he groaned all day long. Even at night, he got no rest. In his effort to find an adequate illustration for the spiritual pain he experienced, he said, “It were as though the summer’s heat had sapped all my strength.” In Psalm 51 David describes perhaps the very same dark season in his life, and he says that it were as though God were crushing all his bones, one by one. When you consider the images David used to describe his spiritual condition, then we are left wondering: Is there anything more pathetic than a child of God who has sinned and refuses to repent?

In the Bible, there is no condition more painful, more pathetic, then that of a sinner. And that kind of pain is one which each one of us absolutely must share. Our pain MUST be worse than that of the leper; our desperation must be deeper than the woman with the blood disorder; our hopelessness must be darker than that of the blind man. God says through Isaiah:

I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.                                               Isaiah 57:15

This is where God lives – with the person who is broken because of his sin, who sees the true pathos of his sinful condition and needs to be revived. David says in Psalm 51 that the only sacrifice that ultimately is pleasing to God is a broken and contrite spirit.

God in Jesus Christ performed brilliant miracles in Palestine. But God performs even more brilliant ones today. When we go to God in the same way that the leper, the woman and the blind man and so many others went to Jesus Christ, then He will heal us. The miracle we enjoy is better because He does not just heal a physical problem that ends with death, but He heals a spiritual one that makes our life nearly unbearable, and furthermore, one that would have destroyed us in hell forever.

No need for us to be jealous. Healings and miracles happen in our lives every day!

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