2017 was the darkest year of my life. I struggled to get out of bed each day and usually didn’t make it past the couch. My kids watched countless hours of TV and I was not loving or kind with my words. I was there but not present. Leaving the house with both of them caused so much anxiety that it was pretty much out of the question. I began canceling play dates and withdrawing from community. I lacked joy and for the life of me could not get it back on my own. My marriage was crumbling under the weight of my anger and desire for my husband to help me climb out of the pit I was in. My mind was a constant stream of negative self-talk and shame. I was broken. And in my brokenness I was breaking my family. It is painful to think on how deeply depressed I was.
BUT GOD. This is a phrase we often hear within the Christian community but I wonder if we know just how powerful He is. Even as I attempted to get to the root of my symptoms and tried every homeopathic remedy in the book, God was pursuing me fiercely through the obedience of my mother-in-law. You see, she already believed the promises of God where He said that Jesus came to “save, heal, and deliver” us (this is the definition of the Greek word “sozo” which is translated to “saved” in the English language.) She knew that my depression was not something God ordained or orchestrated to mature me, nor was it something He would deny the healing of if she asked in faith.
She offered to pray for me and though I was skeptical, I thought “I can use all the prayer I can get.” I believed that my mother-in-law knew the Lord, but I thought she and my father-in-law were a little “out there” with their beliefs about healing. Knowing I was closed off to believing that God desired to heal my disease she laid hands on me and prayed anyway out of obedience. She quoted Isaiah 53:4 to me prior to praying and told me that this depression was not of God. I continued looking at her skeptically, because my theological framework at the time told me that God had orchestrated it to reveal my weakness and mature me. I began to feel lighter than I had in months. Over the next few weeks whenever she was over she would sneak in a prayer for healing, in Jesus’ name.
I remember looking up Isaiah 53:4 the evening after she first prayed and told my husband that surprisingly it did blatantly say what she had claimed. She hadn’t added to the Word of God or spun it through her own doctrine or theological framework, instead her theological framework was based on Jesus.
Every Bible that we owned (and we have quite a few!) said that the Hebrew words for “grief” and “sorrows” referenced both spiritual AND physical sickness and pain. This is confirmed when this scripture is quoted in Matthew 8:17 and the words “grief” and “sorrow” are replaced with “infirmities” and “sicknesses” I love what Dan Mohler says concerning healing, “If Jesus never said ‘If it be God’s will,’ if Jesus never said ‘It’s not your time,’ if Jesus never said ‘look, I would but I can’t because God’s building character in your life and He’s ordained this to work things in you and mature you.’ If Jesus never said that to anyone that was sick why do we say those things all the time?…If you can’t find it in the mouth and life of Jesus than why is it in our mouth if He is in us and we’re in His image? Sounds like we value our opinion way more than His Word.”
Woah. How often do we base our doctrine and theology on knowledge and our own experience rather than on Jesus who is the expression of God? My skepticism towards my mother-in-law’s belief in the promise of healing was not based on Jesus life and ministry, but based in tradition and doctrine. It’s just what I’d always believed. That the supernatural had ceased and any healing that came was through means that made sense to my human mind like modern medicine, for example. Now that my eyes have been opened to this and I have witnessed God’s supernatural healing in my own life, my mind cannot wrap itself around the idea that miracles and signs and wonders ceased in the day of the apostles. Not when Jesus promises we will do greater [more numerous] works than He.
You might, like me, need to stop trying to understand God with your mind or based on your own experience and allow the Holy Spirit to communicate things of the spirit that do not make sense in light of the majority of our human experience or to the human mind.
I thank God when I think of my mother-in-law and how she covered me in love and faith, even when I was in doubt. Today I have more mental clarity than I have in all of my adulthood. AND it is the middle of winter which has always affected me negatively. God has not only restored me, he is restoring my marriage and my relationship with my children. When you come into our home, rather than a place of tension you will find lightness, love, and joy. I am overwhelmed by God’s reckless love and pursuit of me. And you know what? He feels the same way about you! Even if you don’t know Him yet or have even rejected Him. In Mark 10:21 says that Jesus loved the “rich young ruler”, who ultimately rejected Him. It is not His will that any of us should be separated from His love (Matthew 18:14).
For additional resources, please watch the following videos with an open mind. I deeply respect the ministry of Dan Mohler for his commitment to what the Word of God says.
Do you have any experience with miraculous healing? Or have you, like me, always shied away from conversations of the supernatural, thinking they aren’t for our part of history? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please be respectful and remember that differences of opinion do not have to lead to disunity if we are in Christ. Also, this is not a case against modern medicine, I fully believe that God can and does use modern medicine to heal as well.
If you need a reminder of how much God loves you listen to this song before you go!