Why We Must Be Surprised by the Healer

God's ultimate purpose in healing is so we know he is the Lord, our Healer.

This week I gave birth to my eighth book. Actually, it was a “co-labor” with my dear friend and mentor, Linda Dillow. When I use the word “labor,” I mean it. This book, Surprised by the Healer, was probably the most difficult that either of us has ever written.

Healing . . . it’s a controversial topic. Does God still heal? Maybe you’ve felt the sting of someone promising healing only to be disappointed. To add insult to injury, maybe that same someone accused you of lacking faith or of a hidden sin “proven” by your continued illness or brokenness. If this is your story, I'm so sorry. Talk of healing has perhaps done more harm than help.

So why did we write a book on the topic? Certainly not to add to your pain or offer false hope.

What God Promises to Heal

Part of the confusion about healing comes because we assume that it is God’s will for us to be healed of every ailment. I don’t believe this is true. Even the person with the greatest faith and most godly life dies a physical death. However, God’s will is to perform a deeper, eternal healing.

When Jesus walked the earth, he chose to heal some physical ailments, such as leprosy, blindness, and other disabilities. In rare cases, he even raised the dead. However, those physical miracles were temporary for the sake of displaying the healing and redemption that is eternal.

When Jesus heard that his friend Lazarus had died, he was filled with sadness. It hurt him to see his friends Mary and Martha grieve their brother. Jesus said something strange to his disciples: “For your sake I am glad that I was not there [to heal Lazarus], so you may believe” (John 11:15).

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Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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