Sunday, January 28, 2018

Only Say the Word


Throughout my faith journey I have been somewhat skeptical about the idea of a healing mass or the laying of hands. I guess I have been influenced by media portrayals of people being healed from demons writhing on the ground almost as being possessed. I am familiar with the various accounts of Jesus healing people with physical and spiritual maladies yet I have never been sure of the concept of someone anointing myself if I suffered from some type of affliction. A favorite phrase of mine when it comes to stories of healing is "I believe, help me with my unbelief."


All of this being said I have been suffering a variety of physical ailments over the last 15 months. First it began with neck pain and pain shooting into my arms. When chiropractic treatment did not help a MRI was ordered which revealed cervical stenosis. I proceeded with treatment which did little to relief the pain that was progressing despite medication. In July I underwent a successful cervical fusion. However some weeks later I began to have back pains which became chronic and at times disabling. Dealing with the recovery from the surgery seemed to be enough but having the back pain seemed to be the proverbial double whammy. My faith was being challenged.

I pondered if this was a punishment for past transgressions. Was I ever going to be released from this sometimes debilitating pain? I began to seek out prayers that would address certain body ailments. I knew that  many saints were afflicted were body pains and that they accepted the suffering and would not allow it to hinder their service to God. I also know that even today that many people willingly accept bodily ailments and disease. 


But what about my plans? I want to be on my bike cycling on weekends and training. Notice I said my plans. I have learned that my plans are not God's plans although begrudgingly at times. I began to accept the pain as a form of suffering for God, but I still found myself at times unable to travel or do house chores. 


Our church offers healing masses which I had not considered at all. My skeptic thinking is that is only for the really sick people. Please pardon my arrogance. My son who is always thinking of others had been suggesting that I attend the mass over the last few months.  So I decided to go.

Not knowing what to expect I did some reading up on it. Apparently there are many types of healing masses and they are really dependent on the celebrant.  The Mass was a typical weekday service. At the end of the service, our priest explained that the attendees would be blessed with holy oil by three designees who also would lay hands on each individual as well.  While the service progressed I began to feel a sense of relief, but I was also anxious. Based on my reading as well as my knowledge, one could feel instant relief, but knowing that healing can take place over time as well, and for some it may not happen. 


I hesitantly made my way so that the three designees could lay hands on me and anoint me. The service was over. I looked at Jesus on the cross. I couldn't even imagine the physical suffering he endured during the ordeal of the crucifixion and here I was with my ailments. I began to feel guilty. I begin to pray for acceptance of the outcome. 

Over the next few days I felt relief from the pain. Being that I am undergoing physical therapy and am doing a lot of exercises there will be days of not feeling one hundred percent. However, knowing that I submit myself in my doubt to God for physical healing is ok. I know that God knows that I can be doubtful, that my faith waivers. But I am the mustard seed in the germination stage. I will grow to be stronger in faith. And I will listen to others who guide me as well, for I don't have the answers to many things including my own health. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this honest and touching post. I do not believe that sickness and pain is a punishment for past sins. Jesus said so when asked whether a sick man was so because of the sins of his parents.

    That being said, why does God allow pain and sickness? We really don't know the answer. I doubt that it is to test our Faith because He knows how we will react; so what is the point of testing something He already knows the outcome.

    Pain, illness and suffering do happen in life to most/all of us. As best we can we should try not to let it affect our faith, and your quote from Mark 9:24 is just wonderful. I too pray it when in difficulties.

    Praying for you. God bless.


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