“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth […] come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100)
Listen to or sing a worship song praising God.
Here we have two stories of healing. Firstly we have an official concerned about his son who is very ill, then we have a man who has been unable to walk for 38 years. Jesus acts in both desperate situations to bring hope and healing.
Have you ever been desperate and have cried out to God in prayer? It can be a difficult subject, because there are many occasions when God intervenes and the miraculous happens, people are healed, the blind can see, the lame can walk and the hungry are fed. But there are also times when it feels like all we get is silence.
I remember going to a seminar about healing once at Soul Survivor. We were encouraged to find a partner who had something wrong and pray for them. People were falling over all around me, others were crying, and there were smiles and joy as people felt better. I asked the girl who I was with whether she still had her headache. Although she tried to say it was a bit better, it was still there.
The thing is, God is the one who brings the healing, and all we can do is ask. And through the asking, we can be blessed. The official took Jesus at his word and left, believing Jesus, and as it turned out, his son was healed at that moment. As a result, his whole household believed. The other man is also desperate and has struggled to ask other people for help. His whole identity has been in “being ill”. He asks Jesus to intervene and it changes him from wallowing in despair and self pity to walking around. And he does.
The Jewish leaders missed the joy of the healing though and focussed on a detail. Strictly speaking, the man had not broken any law except the ones they themselves had added, just to make sure people stayed within the legal boundaries. Do you get too tied up in whether is something is happening just right to see the excitement of God at work?
Lord God, we pray for all those we know who are sick today. We pray that the might know your healing touch. We pray that you would work miraculously in their lives. Amen.
Who do you know who is ill today? What can you do to bring them some joy?