Reflection: Imperfect healing
After their release from prison, Peter and John in Acts 4 pray that God would “stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” This is one of a number of times we see prayers for healing in the New Testament. And we do see many healings, like the lame man in this story. In this time of coronavirus there will have been much faithful prayer, some healing, but some deaths as well. No doubt the topic of prayer and healing will occupy many Christians’ hearts and minds at this time.
We know that the Father does not always answer our prayers for healing in the way we might want. From one perspective this is an imperfect result, insofar as we continue to long for God’s new creation. From an eternal perspective, however, we see that people are “promoted to glory”, as the Salvo’s wonderful phrase puts it. We can comfort ourselves that in Christ we will one day be reunited with our brothers and sisters and experience the redemption of our bodies. That is a mix of present sadness and future joy that we all find hard – but our God has promised to be with us.
Prayer: Dear Father, in my experience of peril on the earth, I turn to you. Whatever the turmoils and sadness I face, by your Spirit give me a glimpse into our real and certain future. Please be with all who mourn or are sick, making them especially aware of your love and care for them.