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Interrupted Healing

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Why don’t we see God heal more often? Perhaps you have asked that question or have been asked that question. This year I have been confronted with the realization that maybe I don’t see the miraculous more because I’ve attributed to God my own low tolerance for interruptions.

I don’t like interruptions. This is revealed every time I miss a green light. I have places to go and stuff to get done! I would submit that healing is often hindered by hurriedness.

A couple of stories changed my perspective about interruptions. Earlier in the year, one of our daughters had mono. She had a 105-degree fever. I was already asleep when my wife woke me up, saying we needed to take our daughter to the hospital. It was a Saturday night (that turned into Sunday morning).

A couple months later, my wife and I were out to lunch with friends. As we were being seated, our daughter called, crying. She was driving in a snowstorm three hours away when her car spun out on the highway. The car was totaled. She was shaken but unharmed. We immediately left the restaurant to meet her.

I recount these two episodes for the lessons they taught me about interruptions. Interrupted sleep and a night in the ER are no burden to a concerned parent. An interrupted lunch and a three-hour drive are given no thought in the moment. We wanted to come to the aid of our child.

If these are the reflexes of imperfect parents, how much more is my perfect Father willing to be interrupted by my problems and needs. Yet, I hesitate to bother Him with my issue. I don’t want to interrupt God.

We are trained from an early age not to interrupt. How many times have we been told by our mom or dad, “When I am talking with someone, do not interrupt.” This translates into our relationship with God. Stopping to pester God with our needs becomes a big no-no.

Do you realize how many times healings happened because of Jesus being interrupted? Read Luke 8 with the sick woman (Jesus was “on His way” when she interrupted Him). Read Luke 17 with the 10 lepers (Jesus was “on His way” when they interrupted Him). Read Mark 10 with blind Bartimaeus (Jesus was “leaving the city”). Read Mark 2 about the friends crashing through the roof and interrupting Jesus “as He was teaching.”

These are specific examples of healing. There are many more examples of the miraculous coming after Jesus was interrupted. Interrupted sleep turned into a display of His power over nature (Matt. 8:24). His teaching was interrupted by a demonic display (Mark 1:21). He is interrupted at a wedding by his mother to mitigate a social disaster (John 2:3). Interruptions never stopped Jesus from acting.

We recently finished the Alpha course at our church. One of the sessions is on the topic “Does God Heal Today?” John Wimber is quoted in this session saying, “When we prayed for no one, no one was healed. Now we pray for lots of people, and some are healed.” This is the James 4 principle of not having because of not asking God. We can choose not to interrupt God and see nothing happen or interrupt Him and see what happens!

Sadly, some leaders seem to perpetuate the protocol that good Christians do not pester God. Jesus encouraged pestering! When Jesus trained the disciples to pray, He illustrated how to go about it with stories of a neighbor pestering a neighbor (Luke 11:5ff) and a woman pestering a judge (Luke 18:1ff). This is oddly similar to the disciples keeping the Syrophenician woman from interrupting. “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us” (Matt. 15:23).

May the Lord help me not to be the kind of disciple who is too important or hurried for interruptions. And may He help me not to view God as indifferent or too busy for interruptions. He has provided plenty of precedents that He is never put-off when interrupted.

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