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Some people have a green thumb, others have to work at it to keep grass alive. I once had one of those potted things of grass on my desk. It died in two weeks. In the same way there are different kinds of healing gifts in the Bible. Some people can make you feel better just by their presence (when I was a little kid, it was mom – not dad – that I wanted when I was sick). Some people are better at nursing sick people and putting them at ease so they can get better. Some people pray in such a way that it helps people get better. Whatever the form, there are many kinds of spiritual gifts involving healing…
“Now isn’t that all just superstition?” someone asks? Not at all! Just the way some people have an aptitude for fixing things – problem solving mechanical things… To someone who has no aptitude in that sort of thing it’s quite miraculous! In the same way, some people have an aptitude for helping people get better.
But doesn’t “science” and “medicine” make people better? Yes of course… Science helps us to know what will help the body heal, but it doesn’t fix a body the way the guys at Tekserve will fix your computer. Medicine aids the healing process but it doesn’t actually give life any more than a farmer “makes” things grow – all she can do is plant the seeds and make the conditions as good for growth as possible, the miracle of life and healing happens elsewhere.
Now just because you have a green thumb doesn’t mean you have to be a gardener by profession. And just because you have a healing gift doesn’t mean you have to be in health care by profession… But it’s something you can offer that will benefit you (imagine what it would be like to be a healing presence!) and benefit your friends, the church.
Most people who have this as a spiritual gift won’t suspect it until it really comes out. We spend most of our energy taking care of ourselves, fixated on our needs and our well being. Even married people argue a lot about their own needs. But as God starts to take hold of you, and you start to look after people who are not you – so closely that you’re there when people need you the most – when they’re physically weakest… Then you might find you have this gift.
I think too many people want to be teachers. Teachers seem to get all the glory… But what we really need more are healers… People who can make the world better by helping people when they need it most.