February 17, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are looking at one of the names of Jehovah God – Jehovah-Rapha, the LORD who heals. The only Scripture where this name is found is in Exodus 15:26:
If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God, and do what
is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His
statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought
on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.
I want to share with you a couple of instances when God has shown Himself to me as Jehovah-Raphah – “…the LORD who heals you.”
I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I believe it stems from when my father deserted the family when I was ten years old and my mother had to sell the family dairy farm a few months later. My world fell apart. I searched in a lot of ways – sometimes destructive ways – to make sense of my life. I finally found the right way when I was 19, the Lord Jesus Christ! And He began to bring real meaning back into my life!
But the depression has lingered over the years. Finally, about 20 years ago, my wife told me I should seek help. My doctor suggested an antidepressant which has worked most of the time over the last two decades. But it stopped working when I hit a major challenge about nine years ago. I took a job with the state that was an ill fit, and hit a mental and emotional low. I struggled for two years to regain my proper balance – different doctors, meds, etc. But I still tried to fulfil my Christian and pastoral obligations.
Now I thank God for doctors, medicines, counselors, procedures, and all the rest that we have today in modern medical practice. After all, in Bible days, God had Dr. Luke as a very important part of the early church and spread of Christianity!
At one communion service I was leading in the church where I was then pastor, the ushers were distributing the elements to the people in the pews – the way our church usually did it. I usually greatly enjoy leading in and partaking of communion. But that morning I was seeing everything in shades of black and gray! As I waited for the ushers to finish, I was thinking about testimonies I had heard concerning people receiving healing during communion. I looked up and silently prayed, “Lord, I need a healing too.” Immediately I felt the darkness lift! God did a miraculous healing! Although I struggled some after that – and I still do occasionally – that was a major step in getting me back to where I was suppose to be!
A second occurrence of healing happened just two weeks ago. I had been running low-grade fevers for five weeks – half a degree or so above normal – just enough to sap my energy and make me feel physically tired and ‘off.’ Then three weeks ago I experienced severe abdominal pain (I have been occasionally afflicted with colitis for many years). My wife took me to the Emergency Room and, after examination, I was admitted. Many tests later (including the joy of a colonoscopy!) I was diagnose with lymphocytic colitis – a relatively rare microscopic colitis that can cause severe pain and diarrhea. Some people, I learned by researching the disease, were afflicted with such symptoms for years!
The following Tuesday after being released from the hospital, I led a Bible study at a friend’s home. This study group has met for 15 years – a wonderful, supportive gathering of twelve to twenty Christians. I asked them to gather around me and pray for my healing. My dear wife anointed me with oil as we prayed. Two days later I was symptom free – no more fevers or pain! I praise God for His healing! Surely He is Jehovah-Raphah – the LORD who heals me!
There have been many other miracles in my life, involving healing, provision, protection, and the meeting of other needs. And I have been used to facilitate miracles in the lives of others. Bob called the other day after he had heard I was in the hospital. As we talked, he reminded me of the time a small group of ministers prayed for him while I anointed him with oil for healing. His doctor had found a tumor on his leg, and he was going back for another appointment to have it checked out further. The group met again two days later, and I asked Bob how his doctor’s appointment had gone. This 70 year old man burst into tears! “It’s gone!” he said, “The doctor couldn’t even find it!” Jehovah-Raphah – the LORD who heals Bob!
I am still studying and learning a lot about healing. I suggest you read those two books I recommended in the last blog. And may you be challenged to learn more about Jehovah-Raphah – the LORD who heals you!