The New Testament if chock-full of stories and eyewitness accounts of Christ healing the sick. Sometimes it was just a touch, sometimes He gave would give specific instructions, and other times He would simply say “thy faith hath made thee whole.”
While these miracles are amazing and we read about them often, it can be hard for us to imagine that they continue to happen today. Obviously, Christ isn’t just walking around anymore, but does that mean He isn’t still healing and performing miracles? No! I think that He is.
Healing blessings are SO REAL. The power of the priesthood is almost tangible when it is used by someone worthy of it. There have been occasional stories of miraculous healings, like people being cured of a terminal illness. A more frequent occurrence is when a priesthood blessing heals souls, to accept the outcome of a situation.
Along with priesthood blessings, prayers of faith from loving family members and concerned friends also have significant power. The Apostle James taught that we should “pray one for another, that ye may be healed,” and that, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
President Dallin H. Oaks said, “A recent nationwide survey found that nearly 8 in 10 Americans “believe that miracles still occur today as [they did] in ancient times.” A third of those surveyed said they had “experienced or witnessed a divine healing.”
We know that priesthood blessings and prayers work according to our faith. But it is important to emphasize that if you or a loved one were not healed after a priesthood blessing or constant prayer, that DOES NOT mean that you didn’t have enough faith.
The Lord’s will is going to happen, and we must do our best to align our will with His. That doesn’t mean that we can’t feel angry or distraught when one that we love is not healed. Remember that the Lord understands our feelings even when it is hard for us to understand His plans.
There is an often overlooked blessing that Christ grants us with when we humble ourselves and that is the healing power of forgiveness. There is shocking violence that occurs throughout the world and terrible acts performed daily basis. In a world where violence and bloodshed feel unforgivable, Christ can grant us peace and forgiveness.
Does this mean that we shouldn’t take time to heal? No. Processing our grief, anger, and pain is how we will be able to reach a point of forgiveness. President James E. Faust said,
“Keep a place in your heart for forgiveness, and when it comes, welcome it in…The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through His Atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite, or revenge.”
Most of us need time to work through these emotions and that is okay. Christ healing the sick also means that He can heal us of our internal anger and judgment.
Dr. Sidney Simon said, “Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”
Cases of mental illness have previously been treated as minor because they are not always physically manifested. This does not mean that you or your loved one cannot find healing. Christ understands that those who struggle with mental illness are among those who require healing.
It is important to lean on Christ, priesthood blessings, and faith in these times of trial. It is also important to recognize that modern medicine and therapeutic treatments, coupled with faith, are what will eventually help us to find peace.
Elder Jefferey R. Holland stated, “If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.” He continues:
“Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”
Sometimes we need to do our part in order for Christ to do His part. Elder Holland’s statement is a wonderful reminder that we can be His hands in the quest of healing the sick and afflicted.
When Christ was healing the sick did He heal everyone? No. There are plenty of people that He didn’t heal from their physical ailments.
Today there are many people who are not healed through priesthood blessings and all of our best efforts. For me, this raises the question: Christ could heal everyone, so why didn’t He? Why doesn’t he?
Take the Apostle Paul for example, in 2 Corinthians Paul writes about a “thorn in the flesh” that he suffered from. Scholars believe that it was some sort of eye problem that caused him to go temporarily blind.
He also mentions that he asked the Lord three times to be healed and the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul says that he decided to glory in his infirmities instead.
So what changed for Paul? Why didn’t Christ heal one of his most faithful followers and devout disciples? Paul had faith. He even asked if he could be healed.
For Paul, the assurance the Christ was there, that he was being heard, and that he was doing the Lord’s will was enough for him. I believe that because of Paul’s outlook on the situation, he was healed of any anger or frustration that accompanied his illness. While the illness itself may not have gone away, his attitude about preaching the gospel remained fervent.
Paul’s example shows us that God hears us. Healing the sick sometimes looks different than we expect, but faith in His plan is essential to us finding healing.
How has Christ healed you? Share in the comments.