When Jesus was on earth He performed many miracles. “Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.” (Matthew 15:30) These physical healings are a testament to the great power of God, but they are not His greatest miracles. The greatest miracle of all that Jesus performed was on the Cross when He offered Himself up to God the Father for the healing and salvation of our souls, promising us eternal life.
Just like Jesus we too can heal one another. We don’t have to be in the medical profession to help heal…I will tell you a story that had a powerful impact on my life…I was 9 years old when I was sitting on my brother’s bike. I was rushing to get off the bike when I got my leg caught and I fell on the ground on my arm…I ran to my father telling him that I hurt my arm. He promptly took me to the hospital and they took X-rays. We were told it was just a sprain and not to worry about it. The next day I prepared for school with my arm bandaged in a sling. I waited for my friend to arrive at my home and told her I needed her to carry my books because I had to carry my arm. So my poor little friend loaded two book bags on her shoulders as I gently carried my arm trying not to move it.
Weeks passed and the pain went away but I couldn’t fully extend my arm. The doctor whispered to my parents “she’s just scared; there is no physical reason why she can’t open her arm.” So at school, at break time, while the other children were playing I used to sit in a corner of the school yard with one of my friends working on my arm. My friend kept encouraging me “don’t be scared” as I was trying to open my arm. More weeks passed and my father took me to an orthopedic specialist. The specialist took one look at my elbow and said “This arm has been broken; the bones have shifted into the joint and that’s why it’s impossible to open the arm.” He subsequently asked for the original X-ray which indeed showed a fracture and he said, “I’m sorry, but we’ll now have to operate.” With those words, I was healed! Finally someone believed in me! I had the surgery to heal the arm, but I was emotionally healed when he said “I’m sorry”. Then my parents said they were sorry for not believing I had a real problem and I was further healed as they acknowledged my pain.
Every day we are surrounded by people in some form of pain and with our words we can heal. We can encourage people, just like my little friend who kept encouraging me not to be afraid. And the greatest healing of all occurs when we forgive people. I had no difficulty at 9 years old, forgiving the doctor for making a mistake reading an X-ray, nor did I have difficulty forgiving my parents for not believing I was telling them the truth. Why does forgiveness get harder when we get older? I really like the words of the playwright William Shakespeare; I’m certain Jesus was writing something important through him when he wrote these words:
“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” (The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare)
The reason mercy generates a double blessing is because Jesus blesses both the one who is forgiven and the one who forgives. And the one who forgives becomes free from anger and pain…So as you extend forgiveness to those who have hurt you, you too will be healed. May Jesus bless you! Receive His mercy and give it to others! Forgiveness is freedom!