Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bishop’s Note: November 12, 2015 The Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Healing

Bishop Eric Menees

“But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.” (Acts 3:6-7 ESV)

The Gift of Healing is when God chooses to pour out His supernatural power, which results in the healing of sickness and disease without the use of medical treatment. This healing can be purely physical, but generally God desires to heal us mind, body, and spirit.  

All too often, when we think of healing we limit our sights to physical healing, but our God desires wholeness. He heals traumatic memories from actual traumatic events; He heals addictions to all sorts of things; He heals grief that cuts to the bone – HE HEALS!

Healing came to my family with the birth of my daughter Milagro. Milagro was born with double pneumonia and a collapsed lung. No one had a clue until she was placed on Florence’s tummy - grayish blue and gasping like a fish. The nurse made a call and a doctor rushed in – grabbed her up like a football and ran down the hall. After a moment’s hesitation – caught between my first-born and my wife – Florence said, “GO!” and I ran down the hall! I caught up to them in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and the doctor was placing her onto a bassinet thing and said something like: “Your daughter’s lungs are not inflated we need to put a tube in through her side; can I have your permission?” I said yes, but that I wanted to pray over her. He said, “Make it quick,” and I started praying. Seconds later, Milagro took a huge gasp of air, started screaming, and before our eyes expanded to twice her size, turning from gray/blue, to bright red, to very pink. I had to ask the doctor, “What’s happening?” He listened to her lungs and said, “Well I guess we won’t need these,” and pointed to the surgical instruments next to her bassinet.

Milagro was miraculously healed in front of the hospital staff and me, but the scars on her parents were deep. We almost lost our first-born – did we do something wrong? Anger, frustration, fear, and relief were front and center in our lives. After a couple of years of “dealing” with these emotions, I was doing Sunday supply at St. Luke’s in San Diego and they had a healing team present from the Order of St. Luke. The three of us went over for prayer after the service, and afterwards it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of our shoulders. The emotions were gone, not just pushed down. Our little family was now fully healed.

How could a healing be traumatic? Well, the fear of what could have been had weighed heavily upon us from the day of Milagro’s birth until that Sunday at St. Luke’s. The full healing for us came when God, in His mercy, transformed that weight into a triumphant heralding of God’s Grace and Glory!

Why is it that God allows some to be healed and some not? Truthfully, I don’t know. I am very aware that, as I write this Bishop’s Note, my mother-in-law is in surgery receiving a transplanted kidney from a person who lost his or her life, but who gave the gift of life to another. God chose not to heal that person, and to heal my mother-in-law instead.

Perhaps the question isn’t why, but rather what should we do when God heals? I do know the answer to that: Sing God’s praises, proclaim His glories, and fall at His feet in gratitude!

I pray you all a blessed Lord’s Day!
Catechism Questions 181 - 185

181.    What is the Third Petition?
The Third Petition is: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

182.    How is God’s will accomplished in heaven?
The heavenly company of angels and perfected believers responds to God in perfect, willing obedience, and perfect worship. (Psalms 103:20; 104:4; 148:2)

183.    Where can you find God’s will?
I find the will of God outlined in the Ten Commandments, learn its fullness from the whole of Scripture, and see it culminate in the Law of Christ, which calls for my complete love of God and my neighbor. (Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalms 119:1-16, 104-105; Proverbs 4; John 13:34; Acts 7:51-53; Galatians 6:2)

184.    How is God’s will accomplished on earth?
God’s Kingdom comes whenever and wherever God’s will is done. As the Church aims to hallow God’s Name and seek first his Kingdom, it should lead the way in wholehearted obedience to God in Christ, and I should join and support the Church in this. (Psalm 119:176; Matthew 5-7; Ephesians 1:11; Daily Office Prayer of St. John Chrysostom)

185.    What more do you seek in the third petition?
In the third petition I also pray for God to counter the dominion of the world, the flesh, and the Devil in my own soul; to thwart the plans of wicked people; and to extend the Kingdom of his grace to others through me. (Baptismal Service; Acts 1:8; 1 John 2:15-17, Galatians 5:16-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Timothy 2:4)

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