It is always encouraging to get feedback on blogs. I don’t usually follow them up in terms of taking ideas for future blogs from them, but a friend , Rich Johnson who heads up a ministry in Christian Mindfulness, who has had a medical condition for many years suggested that there is much teaching around about healing but not much around about suffering and death. He said that we actually need a theology of suffering and death. It doesn’t sound too cheery a subject but many who read this blog may be looking for that too, especially as there seems to be renewed emphasis in recent years tending towards believing everybody is meant to be healed.
I never want to discourage faith for healing, nor am I academic enough to offer a theology of suffering and death, but I am in the situation of having an illness when the part of the church I most belong to believes in healing. That belief is actually becoming stronger and more vocal which can leave people like me feeling a bit vulnerable. I think it is time for charismatic Christians to come out of the closet and say boldly,” I am a Charismatic christian who believes in healing, who is still praying for it, who has been prayed with for healing countless times in conferences, in local church, by big names on the healing scene and by many more unknown believers, but I am still ill!”
Well, actually if that describes you, you are in the company with those in heaven now. Those who have died and gone to be with the Lord have not yet experienced healing of their bodies. Their bodies are still here on earth. Just as there are those in heaven who are living there with the injustice of being martyred for Jesus, well there are countless more who are still unhealed. What do I mean? Well, somewhere or other, whether in officially claimed sites or elsewhere, Paul’s body is still here on earth. It is headless, and modern medical science if they found the body would be able to tell us what his thorn on the flesh was and settle the argument once and for all. Paul’s body was sown into the earth in dishonour. The day is still future when it will be raised in glory.
In other words, there are a lot of unhealed people in heaven. For heaven too, the Kingdom of heaven is already here but not yet. My father is one of them for example. He knows no pain, he knows no suffering, but the dust of his body is still around on earth. In the joy of heaven now, he waits his final healing.
So for you my bothers and sisters who are feeling left behind in the rising insistence that everyone is supposed to be healed, well if you are not then don’t worry; you are experiencing on earth what is reality in heaven. I am not sure how many healed people there are there. Jesus and mabye Elijah, perhaps Moses and oh yes, Enoch. That is about it. Everyone else is of course rejoicing. With Paul they have discovered that it is better to be with the Lord than here on earth! But with Paul in the Lord’s nearer presence they are saying, “How long O Lord? How long until our bodies are healed and raised incorruptible, how long until justice reigns? How long O Lord?” Heaven is not yet perfect. Saints on earth and saints in heaven are one in this: we are a waiting people.
Away with faulty notions of what “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” really means!
Your battling blogger
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