Jesus asked people, "Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."" Mark 2:9-12
So I ask you which is the bigger miracle, the greater display of God's authority? That he can tame the sea he created or heal eyes he made or turn water into wine or that he can control hearts that have become rebellious. Of all the things he has made only the heart has a will of it's own. Why shouldn't he command his creation's obedience, Colossians 1 says he holds all things together. But a heart, healing a heart is an unfathomable miracle, it's the real miracle.
Don't expect a miraculous story of healing in my life right now. I believe I have a different story to tell. The Bible is full of testimonies of God's healing power, and people who received that gift. But the Bible also tells other stories, perhaps less exciting to us, but just as important. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." I don't know what Paul's weakness was; physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. But I do know it was for God's greatness to be displayed.
In the passages from Mark and 2 Corinthians God's display of healing power and the withholding of his healing were both displays of his authority to point to his sufficiency and glory. Both are right. I love in Mark how Jesus says so that you may know that I have authority to forgive sins, be healed. The more important healing is the heart. He came to heal our hearts now totally and completely. Jesus' focus on earth was spiritual wholeness and freedom. He didn't heal everyone physically. Not everyone in the old and new testaments experienced immediate healing, not even Job. God allowed Job to experience the fullness of loss before he restored him. In the midst of pain and suffering Job had no guarantee of healing. And the truth is the Bible doesn't say specifically that we as believers can expect full healing now. But it does say that everyone that asks can expect a healed heart. Over and over the Bible talks about the passion God has for restoring us, Jesus wasn't sent to earth to heal all of our illnesses but he was sent to reconcile all of mankind to himself.
Romans 8:18-21, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." I believe that the Holy Spirit is the deposit of the things to come. I'm whole in Christ but the full revealing of our complete restoration as God's children hasn't come to pass yet. But it will! That will be the time of the complete and eternal healing of all things.
As you can tell I've been pondering healing quite a bit lately. Partly because I've run up against people's expectations that if I have faith God will heal me. I'm convinced however that healing isn't as simple as that, life isn't as simple as that. I join with Paul in saying, "therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me". I believe my story is one of submission, yielding and Christ's sustaining power. I believe my wholeness has been purchased and is complete but I live in a temporal world and I haven't seen it's fullness yet, but it is no less a reality. One day I will be revealed as I really am completely whole body, mind and spirit. But not today. Even if I was healed here on earth would this body not still die, I can never have the complete healing I long for here. Romans 8:23-25, "we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." This passage goes on to say that the Spirit intercedes for us in accordance with God's will even when we don't know how to pray. I believe God's Spirit has told me how to pray in this season of my life, that his grace will be sufficient and that my life will display his glory. And that's how I pray nothing more or less.