Mark 3 & Healing in the Short and Long Term

This past week my kids and I have been talking about the gift of individuality and how even though we have all been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), God has made each of us a unique reflection of Himself.  Truly, I believe, this fallen world has not done justice to the form God intended for us to display as an image of Him, and that is why I think we each have this inner desire to heal our bodies, that work and feel no where close to where they ultimately could be.  Whether it is evident or not, we all need healing of one sort or another and if you think you are perfect then you are deceived even more than the rest of us. 

As I speak with individuals and groups who are looking to find healing for the problems they or their children are experiencing due to gut issues, I see firsthand how human nature drives people to pursue healing and wholeness.  But often times even if their desire to be healed is strong, the drive to undergo the changes I have to recommend for these individuals and families to take so they can start to experience healing, is not strong enough to enact those changes. 

For instance, it is a very common issue for people who suffer food intolerances to suffer as well from Candidia issues.  It is a simpler process, through the use of supplements and a short term diet change, to clear up the Candidia infection.  But, repairing the gut completely so the body can digest a full range of foods and not show effects of the various food intolerances they have been plagued by is a long and drawn out process which requires more than just a quick change in diet with some added supplements.  Instead, the process of healing the gut, so it can absorb properly previously intolerable foods, can take years on a rather intensive and limiting diet.  And, the results even then are not guaranteed if the damage has been extreme.

The need for healing into every area our human nature, which has been skewed from its original design, is as I said above, a prevalent problem for all of us.  We seek healing today just as those who sought it during the time Jesus walked the earth in human form.  News back then traveled mostly by mouth - there were no phones, no internet, no television, and not even a radio - and yet people from as far away as 75 miles from where Jesus set up his ministry were seeking Him out looking for a way to receive healing from the problems that afflicted them.  Just think how today, in our technological age, the news of someone who could heal people of their afflictions like Jesus did then would spread and draw in crowds.  Yes, we are all still searching.

"And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was going, came to Him."  Mark 3: 7b - 8

Jesus healed these people from their apparent afflictions, and yet He also healed them with the words He spoke into areas of their lives they did not even realize they needed to be healed - the short term healing brought along with it the much more necessary long term healing of heart, mind, and soul - those underlying factors that back then led people to wholeness, just like they still do today.

As I was reading through Mark 3 this week, the study I am following along with my readings from Henry Blackaby included an application section comparing long and short term healing that I thought was rather poignant towards the point I have been trying to make here, so I wanted to share it with you.

"The man had been addicted to nicotine for twenty years..however...he expressed his desire to be free of the nicotine habit at a spiritual retreat...Several people at the retreat prayed for him to be set free...and immediately, he lost all desire for nicotine!...However, it took fourteen months, for the man to get completely beyond the habit of reaching for a cigarette...He had been set free from his addiction, but still had to deal with reversing an ingrained habit...

We often fail to deal with both the cause and the effects of trouble in our lives...The natural world has causes and effects - root disease and symptoms, core problems, and outer habits - and the good news is that Jesus addresses both!"
  Henry Blackaby

What may you be seeking to be healed of today?  Are you looking only to have the surface problems you see as imperfections be healed?   Or, are you willing to go the long and difficult route to find complete healing from the issues which trouble your life?  Jesus asked, and continues to ask, those who seek healing from Him the tough questions.  These questions we must come to answer through the paths towards healing He alone provides and we alone must uniquely walk as we follow Him.  Answers which draw us to seek Him more in our lives, to deal with the deeper issues in our lives and also the answers which will not just satisfy what we see needs to be healed, but moreover the things which really need healing - the deeper, tougher, more long range healing that will ultimately lead us to wholeness in Jesus, our healer and redeemer.


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