Healing and God's Will

"Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven." That's why we pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven..." The world that we walk through -- the world we detect with our five senses -- contradicts our faith on a daily and hourly basis. That didn't stop Moses from making it into the 11th chapter of Hebrews as a hero of faith because he walked by faith and not by sight, moving as though he could see the One who is invisible. Nor should sickness keep us from knowing our salvation even though the Greek word for salvation literally means being restored. One of the names of God translates as "the One who healeth thee." That name is also spelled out fully as the One who heals us and takes away all our diseases. In times of darkness (which would include sickness in ourselves and others) we are instructed in Isiaha not to attempt to light little fires ourselves (in attempting to personally drive back the darkness!) but to trust in the name of the Lord. In doing so, don't fall for the snare of "Gee, I'm still sick. I must not have enough faith" or "I must have some unconfessed sin that limits God's ability to work his will." The issue is not the power of your faith but the power of the One in whom you trust, the One who had only to speak to create the universe, the one in whom we live and walk and have our being. Acknowledging in advance that the ultimate restoration will be when we are transformed, made whole in an instant, our prayers for one who is ill should ask God to work His perfect will in the life of that individual, to make that restoration to wholeness happen here and now if such be His will. Know with assurance that when God chooses to interpose His will in this world -- that which men call a miracle -- we are being granted only a peek at the glory to come. God's will for us has never changed. The first revelation of that will was in Genesis: "Let us make man in our image." As the lamb slain from before the foundation of the cosmos, the Messiah was born into human flesh so that He might be kinned with us and so that we might see in Him the express image of the Father. In Romans 8:28 there's a promise for those who are called according to his purpose. The next verse tells the purpose: that we be "conformed to the image of his Son...." God has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers so that we might mature and through unity of the faith arrive at "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." With an understanding of that unchanging will, a prayer of "Thy will be done" amounts to whispering "Make me more like Him." Whoever wrote "Thou art the Potter. I am the clay. Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting yielding and still" was pretty far down the road toward becoming a mature saint. God's word is laced with images of Himself as a potter working His will on clay which has learned to submit. Jeremiah went down to the potter's house. The process he saw there was the same one you can see today: the artist putting 100% of his attention into fashioning one particular pot. Just as our Western, Aristotelian-based logic has trouble with Jesus as simultaneously being 100% theos and 100% anthropos (and our heresies tend toward 50/50 or 60/40 solutions to the mystery), we have difficulty with the idea of God focusing 100% of his attention on each of us. Just take Jesus's word for it that the hairs on your head are numbered. God's attention is 100% focused on what He is doing with you. And with me. In the Old Testament, Amos rhetorically asked "Doth the clay say to the potter 'What makest thou?'" with the obvious answer being "No" and the proof of what happens to non-submissive clay lying in shards in the field around every potter's house. In the New Testament, we have the advantage of not having to ask the question. We know into whose image we are being shaped. More importantly, since the purpose of the OT was to teach us the lesson of the law (we all fall short), the New Testament message of grace for all us pots who feel like flawed vessels at best is that a heavy price has been paid -- a price with only token representation by 30 pieces of silver. It's no coincidence that those 30 pieces of silver ended up paying for a potter's field, a place undoubtedly littered with shards of pots which didn't quite measure up to the standards of the potter. Nor is it a coincidence that Matthew describes the Kingdom of God as being like a treasure hidden in a field which "for the joy thereof" one might sell all that one has to buy the field. Note Hebrews 12:2. "...Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...." No matter how badly flawed or even broken we may be, we are the treasure for which Christ willingly laid down his life. We have the right to submit ourselves (or once again to resubmit ourselves) to the hand of the Potter. We can do this with confidence, knowing that the single Greek word translated as "it is finished" was commonly used when stamped across a legal judgment to mean "paid in full." All praise be to Him.