Not long ago someone I l know well and love complained to me about various physical ailments which annoyed him and limited activity, but were not life-threatening.
“Have you prayed about these?” I asked. “God can heal you.”
“I figure God is too busy to deal with my minor issues,” he said.
We discussed God’s role in our lives before, and he told me he saw God as a CEO, who did not bother with, what he called minute details, of his “employees’” daily lives.
I told him how differently I saw God. “He’s my daddy, my healer, my friend, my guide, my Savior, and so much more.”
The difference between this person and myself centered on the fact that I delved deeply into the Word and took every name for God and applied it to my life.
As I thought about what he said lately about God being too busy to deal with his minor issues, I thought of two truths in the Word, which contained the Word “all,” and showed how God certainly concerned Himself with the details of His children’s lives. Yes, we are His children, not his employees or distant acquaintances.
Psalm 34:19 tells me this truth, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” NASB
It seems to me God needs to be vitally concerned if He’s willing to deliver us “from them all”—afflictions large and small, which includes our physical afflictions.
Another truth Scripture proclaim: He heals all our diseases.
Psalm 103:3 states about the Lord: “…who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (NIV)
In the New Testament I read about Jesus who carried this out: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Matthew 9:35 NIV
Matthew 8:16 repeats this fact about Jesus.
What I’ve been taught is what Jesus did back then, He’s willing to do now because He never changes.
So why have I experienced the healing of every infirmity in my life while this loved one feels overwhelmed by his?
One reason centers on the fact that I believe and ask.
James 4:2 tells me: “…You do not have because you do not ask God.”
I think of what someone told me years ago: “God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of faith.”
When I come to Him in faith and ask–a sign of humility–He acts.
The times I refuse to come to Him and tried to work circumstances out on my own, I remained caught up in pride, and the Word insists God opposes the proud. (See James 4:6)
As I thought about this earlier today, I recalled how often when I want a change in my computer a message will come on the screen asking if I give permission for that change. Years ago in counseling, the counselor asked me if I gave God permission to work on the issues in my life. I believe I need to do that often. I give Him permission through prayer and obedience and believing He is able to do what He says He can do.
One of the key issues in my life centers on this: “Do I believe Jesus truly is Emmanuel, God with us–with me right here and right now–or do I see Him as a distant, uncaring God who lacks the desire to intervene. Ever since I embraced the idea of “God with us,” (and for us) amazing changes came into my life.
This Christmas season I pray my “God is a far-away God” loved one and every other person I know will receive all God holds out—help, healing, a hearing ear and so much more. I pray they will believe God is with us. That’s why Jesus came, so we could see what God is like.
My heart feels overwhelmed today by the fact that Jesus came to this earth to show how much God cares and to open the door for our salvation.
This is my other prayer I’ve had for loved ones this Christmas season: “May they fully embrace the true meaning of Christmas and may they serve the Lord wholeheartedly in the new year.”
God has so much more for us than we can even imagine—both on this earth and in heaven above. I pray for grace for all of us to receive the blessings of Emmanuel, God with us, this Christmas season and throughout the year.