Tuesday- Day 12
Mark 5:25-34 (Comments on Lent for Everyone by N.T. Wright)
This scripture passage calls attention to the mysterious connection between faith and healing. A woman has been experiencing internal bleeding for twelve years. None of the physicians she had visited could help her. Their treatment plans just made things worse. In her state of desperation, she decided to find this one called Jesus. She had heard about his reputation as a healer. She believed if she could just touch his robe that she would be healed. Lo and behold she was right. As soon as she touched his robe, she felt and change within her and knew that she had been cured. She probably had thought since there were many people surrounding Jesus, at the time, that her touch would go unnoticed. But Jesus had felt power had gone out of him. So, he persisted to find out who touched him when the woman fell before Jesus confessing what she had done. "My daughter, your faith has rescued you (other translations use "made you well" or "saved you"). Be healed of your illness.
How shall we understand Jesus' words, "your faith has rescued or made you well." Is faith required before Jesus can help us? There are stories in which a person's faith was not required or was not apparent before Jesus healed them.
I have no doubt that there is a connection between our faith and wellness. How wonderful it was that this woman was set free from a disease that had kept her in bondage. Wright points out that God does want us to participate in our healing and in living for Him and serving Him. But I get a bit concerned when people treat faith as it were their own possession or if it were something that they controlled. I have heard some say that if so and so just had a stronger faith that Jesus could heal them. Faith is a gift from God to be used for God's glory. I also liken faith to a simple childlike trust. Trust for me means a "letting go", a submitting to God's presence and power. The power still belongs to God, but when we cooperate, when we trust, we are opening ourselves to this channel of blessing, peace and power. This may appear to be a rather passive approach, but what it ultimately means for us is that our acknowledgement that the results of my faith are not ultimately in my control. The results or consequences of my faith may not be what I expected, but that is where real trust kicks in. We live by faith and not by sight and we have to believe that in the end God will bring about what is best for us and for all His people.
I wonder why, in these iensancts, no one ever stops to consider a perspective used quite often by Christian financial advisers (like Dave Ramsey, the Crown Ministries guys, etc.) when asked about non-sinful vs. sinful sources of money in their investments (and this is roughly recalled):I have no problem taking the Devil's money and using it for God's work. These sinful companies are out to make a buck, just like the pure ones. Why shouldn't I take money intended for evil and use it to glorify God?Now, before you start, let me go get my helmet and pads ready for the avalanche of comments I sense might ensue.Stephen Newells last blog post..