February 6, 2013 by Kara Nichols
I grew up with the notion that healing was something God used to do, back in Jesus’ time, and that for some reason He became dormant over the years. I didn’t give much thought to healing because I never thought it was an option. Sure, I heard of miraculous things taking place in far away lands as witnessed by missionaries, but it wasn’t happening in my local church. The closest it came to my life is when I saw a charismatic preacher on tv who would have people line up on stage and he would bop them on the head and they would fall to the floor, overwhelmed by the experience, and presumably the power of God. I was pretty harsh on those types of preachers.
These days I am more and more of a believer that God is able and willing to heal His people. And maybe I’ve had it wrong all of these years.
I keep coming back to Matthew 10 when Jesus was sending out his disciples to go into all of the earth and preach the good news. He was very specific about what they were to do and how to do it.
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
I’m sure I’ve read that passage a dozen times or more in my life but this past week was the first time that it really jumped out at me. Jesus told His disciples to do a lot of things that we don’t do today. I think that’s messed up. Aren’t we disciples? I mean, I know I’m not a theologian but it seems pretty clear that we are to heal the sick, kick out demons, touch the untouchables. So why has it taken me 33 years to experience this? I guess it has to do with my family history and also God’s perfect timing.
What I’m trying to say is that I believe demons can be cast out, I believe that people can be healed from their sickness. And I want in on that action!
You know, deep down I’ve never believed that God would heal me of bipolar. I’ve seen Him restore different areas of my life but never healing. Like if a Christian woman came up and put her hand on top of my head and prayed for me to be healed, I’d not believe along side of her.
But I am coming around. I keep reading that passage in Matthew and it has become an inspiration, I want it to be my life’s calling. I want to do what Jesus told His disciples to do. But in the back of my mind I keep hearing “Healing is not for today. You are out of luck. God will not heal you. You deserve your disease.” I think I’m being taunted by the enemy with my old sarcastic self who refused to believe. But when I hear that, I am trying to fight back because I do believe now.
I’ll say it boldly: I think God can and will heal me from bipolar.
I am having a really hard time not writing some catchphrase like, “If he doesn’t heal me it’s because he has me sick for a reason.” But tell me, what kind of loving Father would want to see their child suffer? As my Heavenly Father, as my friend, as my strength and my comfort I believe He wants to set me free and heal me.
Man, I’m laughing right now because I know some of you will think I’ve once again boarded the crazy train and that my medications need to be adjusted. Trust me, my faith has room to grow and I still think that of myself sometimes. But over time, and with a lot of prayer, I believe I will come to the place where I fully trust in God with every aspect of my life, including, and especially, my mental illness.
Just like a basketball team gets pumped up in the locker room before a game saying, “We’re going to win! I can see it now!” I too, am pumped up and can see it now: a new life created in His image, free from the bondage of a mental affliction that has poisoned my life for the last 12 years.
My faith is increasing through some Bible studies and also the church I am now attending. I wish I would have grown up believing in miracles, but I am thankful that I’ve finally reached that place today. And perhaps that makes it that much more meaningful. The sweet is not as sweet without the sour and if this is the bitter route my life had to take in order to reach this place in my relationship with God, it was WORTH IT. I’d do it all again. Being put in handcuffs, spending weeks in the hospital, being tied down to a bed, losing jobs, losing relationships, all of it. God was faithful throughout those years, His grace covered me.
I have a lot of questions, like what is His will for me? How will this all pan out? It would be very tricky convincing family and doctors that I should go off of medications. Will I be brave enough to take the chance that I will get manic or depressed?
Back in November someone prophesied over me, which basically means the lady gave me encouragement through the Bible and what she felt she was hearing for God regarding me. It was a beautiful time. She only knew my name, nothing about me, so when she talked about me journaling and asking God questions, and how happy God was with me and how much he loved me it was powerful to say the least. Basically the message was to keep pursuing Him and write along the way, which of course is perfect for who I am and that’s one of the first times I really felt God speaking to me in a tangible way.
To answer my own questions: Does God actively heal people in this day and age?
YES!! A resounding yes.