Theology of Healing, Part 4: Finding the Power to Heal

We know from the Bible that God has the power to heal. We also know power corrupts people. Those who take it upon themselves to distribute this power are in danger of misusing it. It is not coincidental that preachers who claim to be able to heal often are exposed as frauds.

Like any kind of power, the power to heal can be abused. To say that I want to be healed, I must admit that I cannot see another way out of my situation. I must confess that I am scared. The vulnerability that this requires makes me easy to manipulate. I need someone stronger than I to help me, but that person can also hurt me. Those who emphasize God’s power without God’s gentleness will hurt vulnerable people. Therefore, an idea that pushes power onto people instead of recognizing and appreciating the depth of trust it takes to seek healing will not accomplish what God desires. Let me be clear: even the best of intentions can have disastrous results. Healing is as intimate as it is transformative. It concerns both the body and the soul, a union which is rare and can never be taken lightly.

The power to heal can do much good when used correctly. The Bible gives the power of anointing the sick to the elders of the church. I think that this duty is given to them to prevent abuse. To be anointed requires entrusting one’s body and soul to another person. The sick are commanded to do this in James 5:14. It is not optional. But, because of vulnerability it requires, I would suggest that, unlike most commands, it is better to wait until the time is right than take any opportunity that presents itself.

If you have been wondering what you ought to do about healing, if these articles have not been theoretical to you, you should be anointed. If there is an elder here you trust (most pastors are elders), you should talk to him or her. If you want to wait until you are home, that is also fine. If you do not feel lead to do anything, wait until you are. When dealing with sacred things like anointing, waiting to make sure you are doing it properly is wise.
Anointing possess a certain kind of power that nothing else does. Some people mistakenly think that it will lead directly to a physical healing. They overlook the power and beauty of knowing that God sees. The most terrible thing that people could ever face is the belief that God has grown apathetic to their pain and is no longer with them. Anointing is a sign of God’s presence and dispels despair.

I cannot say that being anointed will make everything better. But, suffering is wasted if we do not take advantage of the ways we find God in the midst of it. I do not understand why it is, but God reveals Himself in anointing. I also cannot tell you exactly what will happen. I could try, but this is one of those times when experience is more important than words.

If you are sick and you want to find God, call the elders of the church and be anointed.

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