Monday, November 4, 2013

That's Healing!

The old cowboy ended his long workday and was seeking rest in his bed at the bunk house.  He stood in front of a mirror and stared at his rugged face, darkened from hours of exposure to the sun, wrinkled from age, his hair a mess from wearing his hat, his beard carrying a few remnants of tobacco.  He looked into eyes that had been called "kind, compassionate eyes," as the thought about his activities of the day. It had a busy day, starting before sunrise and ending after sundown.  In prayer-like thoughts he thanked God for the good day's work, for the chance to help a neighbor mend a fence, and for the blessing of tending a herd of cattle.  

It wasn't until he was teased by others in the bunkhouse that he realized how it must have looked to them to see him staring at himself in the mirror.  He added to their laughter when he confessed, "I was just lookin' at myself and thinkin',  I ain't near as "purty" as I used to be."  (Type that line and watch your spell check go crazy.)

The cowboy has learned what you and I learn in our own experiences. Ok, even I stood up from typing the story and examined myself in the mirror.  Noticeably the hair has changed. What is left of it has turned grey. There are a couple of scars that help me remember childhood accidents. There are more wrinkles than I had ever seen.  Things have changed and I can testify I am not getting any better looking!

Add to this dilemma the fact that we have new aches and pains and every day seems to bring new limitations to our normal activities.  That is called "LIFE" and we are continually learning we were not designed to live forever. 

2 Kings 5 gives us the story of Naaman, a valiant soldier, a commander of the king's army, a man whose body was diseased with leprosy.  Through several events of the king's help and the advice of the prophet, Naaman was not convinced healing was in his future.  Then some of his servants talked him into following the words of the prophet, and Naaman went and washed himself seven times in the Jordan River, and he was healed. The words of 2 Kings 5:14 give the description of his body after the healing.  "So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy."  When God does something, he does it right!  From the diseased skin of leprosy to the skin of a young boy.  That's healing!

There are some imperfections which cannot be seen in a mirror.  They are not as evident as leprosy which can be seen.  What about the impure heart?  the immoral life?  our "little sins" we try to keep hidden?  And what about our disobedience?  our stubbornness?  our lack of faith?

Just as real as the physical healing of Naaman brought youth and vitality to his life, the spiritual healing from God delivers the miracle of his grace and forgiveness when we experience the new birth.  Paul says it like this, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (a new creation.)  The old is passed away and the new has come. "   I say again.........That's healing!


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