“If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” —Exodus 15:26
Janice was seventeen years old when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. There was just one major problem. “Young Lady, I’m afraid you will never be able to take your baby home. She has only half a liver and will live only a couple days,” the doctor told her.
That evening, Janice went into the hallway to search for a telephone. Suddenly, a very large black woman appeared at her side. “Are you the mother of that precious little baby girl in the nursery?”
“Yes, I am.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m calling my sister to pray with me about my baby.”
With her sister listening on the other end, the woman began to pray as Janice held the phone. As the lady prayed, a warm feeling came over Janice and she knew in her heart her baby was healed. When the prayer ended, Janice said good-bye to her sister and hung up the phone. When she turned around, the lady was gone.
The next morning, Janice picked up the little clothes she had brought to the hospital, and walked into the nursery to dress her baby to take her home. The doctor was very ugly with her and refused to let her touch her own baby. Janice marvels today that, as a teenager, she had the foresight to insist on having another X-ray taken. The doctor consented to do so only after much persuasion, but called in another doctor to order it.
The second, a female doctor, returned shortly, and with tears in her eyes said, “Your little girl is totally healed! You may take your baby home.”
“There was a big, black lady in the hallway last night who prayed for my baby. I want to thank her. Do you know who she was? She looked like a nurse,” Janice replied.
“No, we have no one working here by that description.”
Today, that little baby girl, Geanene, is married and has two children of her own.
Three days after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea they had no water. They came to a stream where the water was bitter. The Lord showed Moses a tree. He threw it into the water, which made it sweet. They called this place “Marah,” meaning bitter, for here Scripture says they were “tested,” the same root Hebrew word used when Abraham was tested with Isaac.
It was at Marah the Lord gave Moses and the people a statute: “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exod. 15:26 NASB).
This is where we get the Hebrew word for God as healer—Jehovah-Rapha. He lays down this very basic regulation, or formal decree, that obedience goes hand in hand with health and healing, and that He is the healer. This verse says the same thing as Deuteronomy 28:1-14, that if we will obey God, we will be blessed; and verses15-68 say if we do not honor God with our lives, calamities of all types will come upon us. In other words, sin opens the door for the enemy to bring real problems.
His Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways
However, not very far into the Christian life, we find things are not always this simple. Sin is not always the reason for troubles or lack of health. We discover early that there are no simple answers to complex situations, and that we cannot put God in a box and find out why He does certain things —why He deals with us and other people as He does. He is God and He alone. There is no faith-method to make Him do what we want Him to do when we want Him to do it. He can heal whomever, whenever and however He desires, and at times, no matter the faith involved, healing seems to evade. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautiful top-side pattern and design of the quilt, whereas we see only the knotted, frayed underneath side.
The story of the healing of Janice’s daughter had nothing to do with Janice’s obedience, for she was not even a Christian. She had been raised in a very strict rule-oriented “religious” environment, but she never saw any love in it. She learned her mother was a Christian only after her mother died; her mother’s life consisted in surviving with an alcoholic husband. Unfortunately and understandably, Janice allowed immature Christians, who were unable to love, to keep her from being readily able to accept the love of God.
After the birth of her baby, and with God’s guidance, Janice was able to free herself from her husband who had tried to drown her shortly before. One child was already at home. A number of years later, she met David who conveyed love to her and adopted her children. They bought a mobile home together in which they both became Christians. Would Janice have given her heart to the Lord if He had not stepped in to perform this miracle? Only God knows.
Years later, a co-worker gave Janice a black angel holding a baby up high in her arms. Janice put it on her desk and told her story to every one who asked about the angel, and many did, because Janice was not black. Did God heal baby Geanene so He could get the glory from it when Janice told the story? God knows.
Maybe, He wanted to show that He is the Healer. Did He heal Geanene because He had a special plan for her life, as He does for each one He created? Geanene knows. At every opportunity she says, “I am a miracle!”