When the Body won’t Heal

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Before moving on to other areas of healing, we need to camp out for one more week on healing the body. The volume of your questions and interaction with this subject is the highest in an eight year history. Our frailty opens us up to wider considerations of reality. When we lose or have never had a sense of physical well-being (shalom), we are thrust, involuntarily, into the deepest existential questions of life. Every corner of our world so desperately needs healing and answers, but there are few shaman, priests, rabbis, or tribal elders who can help us. Why do some of us remain unhealed? Why is God silent when we beg and plead for help? Are such pleas just the left over residue from an involved mind that hasn’t yet accepted that there is no God to help us? If so, how do we explain those who are healed?

These questions juxtapose us between the belief that healing remains possible or certainty that it is impossible. The direction we choose brings with it an assumption about ultimate-reality that will impact every decision the rest of our life. The difference between belief and unbelief is minimal at this decision point, but becomes immense as each person moves forward into their life. Is faith just wishful thinking or the refusal to accept reality? I am suggesting faith is a catalyst that alters hard reality like the soft water of a river which wears down all rock? We must posses the long view or we cannot see transformative healing.

Nothing will open up our lives to bitterness, resentment, regret, and emotional pain more than unbelief. Unbelief thinks it has appraised all the facts and has become certain about outcomes. This certainty is a way of protecting oneself from “getting their hopes up.” Unbelief prefers to settle in and adapt to the captivity of suffering than to pin ones hopes on a pipe dream or fairytale. Even if ones unbelief doesn’t produce inner vitriol, despair at some level is unavoidable. Despair is the byproduct of unbelief. In such a case, what is happening to the deeper self or soul becomes infinitely worse than what has happened to the body. I implore you, don’t go the way of unbelief. Do not give up hope. Faith is not foolish.

Why do I say this?

Believing that “all things are possible” is how we “stay in faith.” And even if you’re not in a place to hope for divine healing just yet, there are compelling reasons to stay optimistic and press toward your greatest potential. For starters, physical disabilities abound in our world and they will not limit you as much as unbelief will. I could fill an entire blog with examples of people with every kind of physical brokenness or disease that has accomplished more than anyone thought possible. Of all the inspirational stories of overcoming, none of them came from unbelief. Like the quote in Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.

We must stay in faith because physical healing may not immediately come for a number of reasons. For example, our need for healing may be a result of a lifelong set of choices that opened up our body to disease. In such cases, the body bore the brunt of our minds need for healing, which we ignored. By staying in faith and making new choices, our bodies will move back into conformity to the truth. We don’t become unhealthy overnight, we don’t move into conformity to healing overnight. Remember, healing is not an event, its a byproduct. One good choice begets another and we are gradually restored. The physical dysfunction opens us up to the need for personal change where the true healing must first take place. If we run out of time with a transformed mind before complete bodily healing comes, it is still far better than to spend our days with the mindset that made us sick.

Physical healing is also delayed because it serves as a wake up call for true living. I’ve been inspired by so many people with terminal illnesses who look at the day they received their diagnosis as the best day of their life. Terminal illness need not be a death sentence, but a call to life. The diagnosis was the day that woke such people up and forced them to deal with the temporality of life. Such remarkable people show us that a healthy body that squanders their anesthetized life is someone more in need of healing than the terminal patient who cherishes each and every moment of life. We are all dying, these people reveal what transformative healing looks like and it is something for which we would all do well to pursue. The burden of terminal illness serves a tremendous purpose in our world, and it’s a purpose for which we will all be called to serve. Only a healed person, can bear it with grace and honor.

These delays in physical healing reveal that healing is far more than just a bodily process. This is because we are more than our bodies. So long as we remain stuck in our body, some healing will elude all efforts. Our bodies and our physical existence are important, but they are not the lasting part. Even if a complete healing takes place in our bodies, eventually they will wither, become frail and weak, and succumb to death. And at that point, what do you have? Healing realizes that the most lasting part of us is not our body or this life, it is the life and love that we embody which imprints upon the memory of others. Our legacy outlives our bodies. Healing our life then, goes far beyond our days in a body, and finds a connection to the everlasting flow, and life force, whereby we join our Maker who has gifted us to bear his image of love for a precise number of days, and no more.

The greatest healing of the body is not the miraculous cure for our brokenness. It’s the healing and rejoining of the our being to the ground of all being, the great I Am. That is not a cop-out. It’s true transformation. If an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient God exists, there could never have been a time when each of us was not within the perfect mind and wisdom of such a being. Our walk on part in the drama of life is but a blip in the eternal span and flow of life. Since an omniscient God cannot gain or lose knowledge of us, that part that has always been a part of God, will always be a part of God, and so whether through short suffering or a long and joyful life, we all will return from where we came. Healing, is seeing the big picture. Healing is finally adapting to the long view. Healing is to receive each moment because we finally understand that nothing is missing, everything, absolutely everything belongs.

Once we can meet each moment as complete, forgiving reality for being what it is, then we have grasped Paul’s perspective that our afflictions in life are: light and momentary.

“For this light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Healing our bodies requires faith. Healing our bodies requires the long view of an eternal perspective. This is why I explained the cosmic work of the Christ last week. The Christ spirit, which comes by names of life-force, energy, vibration, is beyond, behind, before, through and in everything. It’s the universal power beyond all religions. Healing our bodies is only a microcosm of true transformative healing. Without this perspective of healing, how could we ever hope to be healed? Hoping for just a bodily healing is under-hoping. We must first gain insight, then we cans see our healing. If we possess this understanding, we lay hold of a kingdom where there is a counter-intuitive set of rules, where the path to receiving is to give, where rising up begins at laying down, where death is not stopping.

Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. (Philippians 1:20-24)

As a kingdom inhabitant, we are endowed with this healing power where we can then speak truth and healing to ourselves and the world who so desperately needs it. A mended body without this long view is not a healing. Until we see the bigger picture, we will never truly be healed.

The question still remains, do you want to be healed? Or do we just want our bodies fixed? The frailty of our bodies is the gateway into true seeing, let us not squander the breakdown of our body. May we use it to receive true healing.