He lay upon the bed, dressed in gown, socks, and a little blue hat that resembled a shower cap. He was awaiting the moment in which the kind gentleman would wheel him away. Positive and determined, he spoke words of hope, encouragement, and of God’s unfailing love. He truly believed in faith that God was going to heal him that day. Certain that this simple laser surgery was going to be a piece of cake, he bragged about how he was going to be home in just a day or two. He TRULY believed! But when he awoke in pain, he would come to realize that his worst fears had become a reality. The simple laser surgery had taken an unexpected turn. He now was covered in tubes providing an escape for the draining blood due to a tracheotomy. He could not speak or swallow and coughing was a daunting task. It was then that he realized that God had not answered his fervent prayer.or, did he?
Jehovah Rapha – The God Who Heals
“Rapha” is a term meaning “to restore, to heal, to cure” and is used 60+ times in the Old Testament. The word also conveys the idea of restoration to the normal or useful state. God reveals Himself to us as Jehovah Rapha when we are in need of healing. As humans, we experience emotional, physical and spiritual brokenness.and we all know that brokenness can produce bitterness in our hearts if not dealt with properly.
The most crucial form of healing that we can receive from Jehovah Rapha is healing from our spiritual brokenness. We are all spiritually “sick”, but Jehovah Rapha provides us with the only cure; the blood of Jesus Christ. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Sin is a terminal disease, a condition of the heart that cannot be cured on our own. The only hope to keep us from destruction is to recognize our need and cry out to the God who heals. Isaiah 1:5-6 suggests our wickedness affects every part of us. “Why do you persist in your rebellion? Your whole head is injured. Your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness – only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.” But as we read on, verse 18 reveals the hope we have in the healing power of Jehovah Rapha, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Once we take care of our spiritual brokenness, then we can experience freedom from all other chains that hold us captive.
Jehovah Rapha heals our emotional brokenness and repairs our broken hearts.“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3). The word “broken” here literally means “to burst, to break into pieces, to crush”. Is your heart crushed into pieces? Are you suffering from a broken relationship that has caused deep, emotional scars? Are you overwhelmed by the aching inside due to someone who has hurt you? Maybe it’s something you are carrying around from your past. Maybe it happened just yesterday. I want to encourage you to cry out to Jehovah Rapha and make a plea to the “God who Heals” to mend your broken heart.
Our physical brokenness should also be brought before Jehovah Rapha. Many of us are in the state of trying to process our physical pain; if not our own, the physical difficulties of someone we love. Frustrations from physical ailments can leave us feeling unfocused, angry, and even abandoned by God. It is at the throne of grace where we must fall to our knees and cry out to Jehovah Rapha. Do we truly believe that God’s will for us is to be physically whole? Do we earnestly trust that He longs to heal our physical impairments? The Bible is full of examples of physical healing. Jesus healed many of blindness, leprosy, lameness, and even physically brought life to those who were dying, but do we honestly believe that He can heal us today?
It’s been said before that I’m a people-pleaser. (By me and others). So when this subject came up again recently it didn’t surprise me, but gave me pause for thought.
Someone commented that I seem to be able to adapt to any situation. I believe they meant it as a compliment, and I’ll take it as such, thank-you-very-much. But as I began to think more about it, I kept seeing chameleons in my mind.
They are highly specialized lizards that are distinguished by their climbing ability, long extrudable tongues, and their distinctive dragon-like heads.
And I like that. I might even say that I’m like that. I like flying ‘under the radar’ and fitting in. I don’t much like to stand out in a crowd unless it’s in a good way. You know – the ‘don’t make a fool of yourself’ kind of way.
So this has it’s ‘good news-bad news’ dilemma. Good news – “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18) It’s not our role to make waves just for the sake of standing out in a crowd. Bad news “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) Christians are suppose to stand out in a crowd!
One reason for a chameleon changing color is to camouflage itself – sort of like going into a self-protection mode. Changing it’s color is also used as “an expression of the physiological condition of the lizard, and as a social indicator to other chameleons” (according to Wikipedia.com). I guess it’s an “I’m feeling very blue today” kind of thing.
Hmmh.I’m wondering if when I melt into the background because I don’t want to be noticed it’s more like self-protection, and when I adapt to situations it’s a more acceptable social interaction. Hiding is never good, but being flexible is.
Perhaps it’s really a matter of knowing what my true colors are!