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Healing

Healing


TODAY’S WORD IS HEALING

The word healing brings many images to mind. Some people may think of a healing crusade. That is one of those events where a preacher claims that he can cure your sicknesses by the power of God. We can think of a convalescent hospital where people stay for extended times to heal their bodies. Healing means being made whole again, and we all want to be whole.

There is also the healing that comes with peace of mind. This healing cures the restless and tormented spirit. We live in a time when our country needs healing that can soothe the restless and angry soul and will bring peace and satisfaction. When the Psalmist said, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror,” he could well be thinking of times like these. True healing can only come from God. We have exhausted our resources and failed.

Healing brings with it a peace allows us to settle down and live as people of God. I would love to see a world that had this God inspired healing. It would be a world full of people who were truly healed of their strife and pain. Such a world is a place of calmness and satisfaction.

Healing cures the seeds of anger and mistrust that lead to violence and ultimately war. How many deaths could have been prevented if we had only asked God for healing? How many relationships would have been saved if we had understood that God can heal? Let us not waste another minute when healing is possible.

Healing is to be made whole and be restored.


Quotes

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.

~~~Henri Nouwen

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

~~~Hippocrates

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

~~~Hubert H. Humphrey

Nature heals under the auspices of the medical profession.

~~~Haven Emerson

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.

~~~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds, they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.

~~~F. Scott Fitzgerald

You can promote your healing by your thinking.

~~~James E. Sweeney

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

~~~John Burroughs

The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.

~~~Nelson Mandela

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.

~~~Novalis


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Scripture

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
  and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
  who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
Psalm 103:2-4
 
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
  O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
Psalm 6:2
 
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
  they are called happy in the land.
  You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
  in their illness you heal all their infirmities.
Psalm 41:2-3
 
As for me, I said, ‘O Lord, be gracious to me;
  heal me, for I have sinned against you.’
Psalm 41:4
 
My child, be attentive to my words;
  incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them escape from your sight;
  keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
  and healing to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:20-22
 
A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
  but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22
 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 
O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
  Be our arm every morning,
  our salvation in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 33:2
 
You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
James 5:6
Prayer Banner

Lord, I feel that we live in a time of great contradiction. Our time needs healing that only you can bring. We have so widened the gaps that exist between us that our talents fail us. We have so divided ourselves that our ideas are lacking. We call upon you to send us wisdom and healing that are products of heaven and not earth. We ask for divine healing on earth.       Amen


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Ambition and Cleanness of Heart

Even when I try to please God, I tend to please my own ambition, his enemy. There can be imperfection even in the ardent love of great perfection, even in the desire of virtue, of sanctity. Even the desire of contemplation can be impure, when we forget that true contemplation means the complete destruction of all selfishness – the pure poverty and cleanness of heart.

~~~ Thomas Merton

Merton June 17Ambition, by itself, is not evil. When we have ambition, we improve ourselves and the world. Ambitious business people have built great companies that have provided goods and services to people and improved their lives. Doctors and scientists have developed medicines, vaccines and medical procedures that have saved the lives of untold numbers of people. The entrepreneurs and others were ambitious people who wanted to make a difference. Ambition does have a dark side. It turns dark when it is no longer shares with the welfare of others, but it is simply for self-satisfaction and aggrandizement.

Merton says that we even try to please God and yet simply feed our ambition. If we are seeking to love, serve, be virtuous or live out the fruits of the spirit for our own satisfaction it is worthless. Even in contemplation we can feed our selfish ambition. We must seek to please God outside of our self-satisfaction. God is not impressed with the works we do, the purity we possess or the prayers we pray unless they are offered to Him and not for our own drive to succeed.

In my years as a pastor and teacher I have seen this scenario carried out countless times. A person is so driven to be a model Christian that they for forget why they should be Christian. Their works are so big that they make others look small. Their words are so high and mighty that they put others down by their very nature. Their walk with God is truly a walk with themselves. This is the type of spirituality that Jesus warns about in the Sermon on the Mount. “Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to Ambition 1be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)- This is what ambitious Christianity can evolve into, and it is the opposite of the selfless lives we are called to live.

Merton gives us some sound advice and direction. He directs us to please God by emptying ourselves of self. The emptying of self means that we offer all that we do to our creator without expectation of return or praise. We may not even be deemed successful by our neighbors and peers. Remember God sees in secret what we do in secret and rewards us greatly. This allows us pure poverty and cleanness of heart.


Prayer

Lord, Allow me to use my ambitions to please you and not myself. Help me to discern the difference between selfish ambition and pureness of heart, a pure heart the prays and serves to please you and not myself. It is extremely hard in our driven and competitive world to keep a selfless focus but with your grace and help I know that it is possible. Keep me on the right path this day and give opportunities to live out my mission to you.

Amen

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The Source

“When St. Anthony entered to the internal desert, the demons watched him Writerdauntingly, saying, “O You young of age and mind, how did you dare to enter our territory, as we have never seen a human before you.” And they all started to fight him. He said to them, “O strong ones, what do you want from me, the weak; And who am I so that you all gather to fight me. Don’t you know that I am ashes and dust, and unable to fight the smallest in you.” And he lay on the ground, shouting to God, “O God, help me, and strengthen my weakness. Have mercy on me, as I sought after you. Do not leave me; and do not let those who think that I am something overcome me. O God, You know that I am unable to fight the smallest of these.” When the demons heard this prayer full of life and humility they fled away, and did not dare to approach to him. “

~~~ Anthony of the Desert

There is no question that we battle evil at all times. Some choose to see evil as some sort of devil or demon that haunts us. Others choose to see evil as a state that has persisted on the earth since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. No matter how you define the presence of evil on earth , we can defeat it. Ironically, we can only do this by admitting, as the desert monk did, that it is more powerful than we can ever imagine.

After we come to this admission , we can say as the Psalmist does, “I will lift UP my eyes – from where my help comes.” When we find ourselves in a situation that we are powerless to control or defeat, we must call upon our God because He has the power to defeat ALL enemies. We are so tempted to believe that we can do it on our own.

When my son Jeremy, who who will be forty on his next birthday, was about two years old his mother always stressed to him how important it was to hold his hand when he crossed the street. Our oldest was always a very resourceful person so he decided that he could hold his own hand. When it came time to cross the street or to walk in the mall he would clasp both hands together and say, “ I hold my own hand.” That didn’t work too well. He did not realize that holding his own hand defeated the very purpose of holding hands. His mother held his hand to protect him, not to control. In the mind of a two year old, holding his hand was control and he didn’t want it. Most of us are more than two years old, and yet we still want to be controlled. Like the commercial where the man is doing all kinds of crazy things saying, “I got this,” but really he doesn’t have anything. He’s just simply out of control. We cannot control the sources of evil on this earth without looking to the source of our blessing, of our hope, and our power.

The source of our power is found when we humbly cry out, I can’t do this on my own. The psalmist even goes further and plainly admits that the source of power comes from aStrenghtbove and not from within himself. I fear that today , as we face this dreadful virus, we are looking so deeply inside of ourselves that we are forgetting the source of all healing, peace, understanding, and that life really is from above. This does not mean that we should not do our best and muster together all of the resources that God has blessed us with to defeat this plague that has beset us. However, as we do it we should never forget that all that we are and all we will ever be comes from God. He is our TRUE source of ALL.

In these times we must put our trust in our Source. We should do all that we can with the knowledge that we have to fight this situation, but in the end we must lean on the strength of God. He will see us through to the end. The times that lie ahead may be difficult, but God will be with us.


Prayer

LORD, we acknowledge you as the source that guides us and sustains us. In these difficult times we ask you to guide us to put ourselves aside and allow you to steer our course. Forgive us Lord for trying to be our own gods, and convict us to follow your guidance so that we may find the ultimate source of our victory.

Amen

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