Regarding Acts 3 and 4....and me.
One might think that seeing or receiving a healing would always be received as a happy experience; but this is apparently not always so. Acts 3 and 4 describes a God-granted, instantaneous healing that results, both in cheers and accusations.
Peter commanded a healing in the name of Jesus, extended his hand, raised a lame man to his feet. The lame man’s feet and ankles are instantly straightened. With a leap, he stood up straight, began to walk, leap, and entered the temple. In fact he makes quite a display of himself, walking and leaping and praising God. But Peter is commanded to explain himself to the Temple authorities and is arrested.
Before this public healing, everything was orderly, routine, and heartbreaking. But God has acted through the reality of His name at Peter’s command and extended hand. A real leaping miracle-touched man has been released from his crippled condition.
Are we, today, comfortable with the spontaneity of Jesus’ presence in our lives? Are believers disturbed when God steps down from a symbolic cross and interacts right in the aisle of the church?
In 1960 while I was pregnant with my third child I was diagnosed with Hepatitis. Neighbors friends and family all received gamma/globulin shots. Few would even enter our apartment.
I spent most of my time dragging my expanding body through the routine of caring for our two little girls, aged 2 and 3. Every day seemed more difficult than the next. The final blow was the invasion into our bathroom by a large spider (a tarantula). I killed the spider with one of Rol’s shoes, sat hugging my daughters and weeping.
The following Sunday Rol checked the girls into the church nursery, and helped me climb the back stairs into the side of the cross-shaped church.
Our Pastor, Dr. James Seth Stuart, was already preaching when we finally sat down. He was speaking about the woman who crawled across the pavement to touch the Lord’s robe and how she had been healed.
I sat in oue pew listening and complaining to myself that, if the Lord Himself was there in the church, I would gladly crawl across the open space to touch His robe and receive healing.
Suddenly I heard a voice say, “Raise your hand and you will be healed.”
I hesitated. ‘Raise my hand in the middle of a Presbyterian church?’
But I did! …and healing strength flowed over and through me like a warm river.
At the end of the service, Rol did not have to help me with the stairs. I flew down, gathered my children in my arms, and went home healed. A few months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
Over the ensuing years, a number of doctors have asked me what level Hepatitis I had experienced.
But no one knew; and so it was presumed that it had been level A or, at worse, level B.
It wasn’t until I was 76 years old that a doctor had my blood tested to determine the level.
The answer startled us all. It had been Hepatitis C, a killer disease that could have robbed me of life, and my children of their mother. In fact, I might have taken my son with me. The Lord had allowed me to draw healing from His strength…
Is my story always well received?
Sometimes it is received enthusiastically.
Sometimes it is treated like a fairy-tale.
Sometimes it seems that people are caught between faith and denial.
They all want it to be true (and it is); but sometimes it doesn’t’ fit into their church’s teaching (or their understanding of that teaching). It didn’t happen at the hand of a pastor (true). The time of miracles is past. I am an unknown (yes) person, unworthy (yes), and sometimes I suffer from other ills (yes)
But the fact is…by the grace of God…my body was strengthened ..I walk.. I know…
I hope you gain spiritual strength for knowing that the Lord loves even the least of us and delights in raising us up...Ask and you shall receive!