I once read a story of a woman waiting in a prayer line.
When it came her turn to be prayed for, the Minister asked her what her problem was. She told him that she had been having Asthma attacks since she was a little girl.
These attacks had continued even into adulthood. She was asking that she be healed from this ailment.
While listening to her complaint, it seems the Minister felt a strong nudge from the Spirit and felt led to question this woman further. He asked her if perhaps she had sin in her life.
She said she had searched her heart and she did not believe there was anything about her that was not pleasing to God other than just being a normal human being.
The Minister hesitated again and then asked her something else. He asked her if anything had ever happened to her that perhaps somehow she could not get over.
She thought a bit and first answered ‘no’ and then she began to weep. The Minister asked her to tell the church what she was weeping for.
She said that when she was a little girl, her mother died. She and her father were very close. Sometime later, her father remarried. She related that her step-mother was very jealous of the relationship she had with her Dad.
The step-mother began to make up things and tell lies about this little girl and when the father would come home from work, she would tell these lies to him and he would whip and beat her for these things she was supposed to have done.
She said it broke her heart. She grew into adulthood, married and now had children of her own and had done her very best to forgive and let go.
The Minister was deeply moved but to her dismay announced that he was not going to pray for her Asthma. He told the church, ‘We are going to pray for God to heal her broken heart.’
He anointed her with oil and that is what they prayed for. From that moment on, the lady never had another Asthma attack.
You see, I felt today that the term broken heart also means broken spirit. Sometimes tragedy and terrible things happen that break us, it goes deep into our spirit.
We get up, do the best we can to forgive and forget. We bury it deep in the back of our minds and go on with our lives. We think we’ve gotten over it.
It is true that the wound may heal over on the outside, but is never healed on the inside. This old injury will come out in some form. It might present as a physical problem or an emotional one.
Our lives may appear normal on the outside to others but perhaps we do not fully recover emotionally. It comes out in our relationship with others, like being unable to trust or unable to love without terrible restraint.
That wound must be healed or that person can never live their life fully as God intended.
This healing power is in the Church. God put it there. There are those gifted with the ability to minister to those who have been deeply bruised and injured and they are among us.
We find some of those people outside the church and they are often helpful in bringing healing. If we believe that most of what we need is in God’s house or among his people, then it makes sense that the answers and help we need is available to us.
That’s why we must loose these men and women to do the job God has called them to do. This gift was given to the Church and it was never taken out.
The Body of Christ is often ill and everything we need to recover is right there among his people. He gave us these gifts to minister to one another and to reach out to hurting and needy people who are lost or broken or who have never known him.
His Spirit in us draws them and our gift to heal them demonstrates his mighty Power and Grace.
Oh that we might come to the fullness of what God actually gave to us. He is waiting for us to use what we already have.
First published: September 17, 2010.
~ Robert Blackburn