Your life may be in crisis right now amid this coronavirus, but I can tell you some good news today: there is an answer. There is a God who, right now, sees every detail of your life and desires to meet every one of your needs in this crisis and any crisis to come. I know firsthand that Jesus truly is the God Who Heals.
A time like this brings out so many questions for so many people. Maybe you’ve lost your job and don’t know how you’ll provide for yourself or your family this month. Maybe your loved one got the virus and even tragically passed away. Maybe you are fine physically, but this crisis has brought up all kinds of other emotional and mental stress.
What do we do? Perhaps try to cope the best we can. Maybe we question God, asking why He won’t change things, why any of our personal crises would even happen if He was supposedly good. I know I have.
But the good news today is the life-changing reality of who God is. Amid the headlines shouting panic and the crisis screaming at you, look and see who Jesus really is and the kind of restoration He desires to bring in your life here and now.
One of the names of God is Jehovah Rapha, meaning “the God Who Heals,” with the Hebrew word “rapha” translating to “to completely make whole, to thoroughly mend and repair.”
The name is one of many God has used to reveal to us who He is, and He as a healer means He restores not only physical disease but personal distresses, mental anxiety, emotional wounds, wounds from sins we commit against Him—everything about us, He desires to heal.
God first introduced Himself as a healer to the Israelite people thousands of years ago, when He miraculously provided for them while they were journeying through the barren Middle East wilderness.
And throughout history up to right now, He continually and miraculously restores hopeless situations just because it’s who He is. I know throughout my own life, when I’ve cried out to Him amid struggles of depression, fear, and all kinds of needs, I’ve experienced Him and how He has always heard me, provided for me, and restored me.
And even when we don’t understand or know what will happen in our life, especially when we have nothing left we can do to fix our disasters, that’s actually when we have a chance to see His goodness—who He is—the most. Just look at this one instance from the records of Scripture.
Two thousand years ago, in a village outside of Jerusalem, two sisters—Mary and Martha—sent a desperate message to Jesus, begging him to come and heal their very ill brother and probable financial provider, Lazarus.
Jesus, God in the flesh, was in another town at the time and, surprisingly, did not immediately come when He received the message. Instead, He waited several days, saying this difficult situation would reveal God’s glory, the greatness and goodness of who He really is. Lazarus died in the meantime.
When Jesus and His disciples finally arrived in the village, the distraught sisters, holding a tragedy and all kinds of unanswered questions, wept when they first spoke with Jesus.
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” Mary said.
In other words, Why didn’t you come, Jesus?
Mary’s statement could’ve had many other questions brimming underneath it, too: Didn’t you care he was dying? Why didn’t you do something? How will my sister and I provide for ourselves now that he’s gone?
Jesus wept with her, even though He was already securely in control and knew the whole time what was happening and what He was going to do about it. He told Mary that Lazarus would rise again and that He is the resurrection and life for anyone who would believe in Him. Some of the people there mocked him. They said it was hopeless.
Jesus then told them to take away the stone covering the cave tomb, a bizarre request to the Jews gathered there, given the smell of the four-day-old corpse inside. Yet once they did, Jesus spoke with a loud voice and told Lazarus to come out.
And suddenly, walking still in his grave clothes, Lazarus emerged from the cave.
What does that mean for us today in our crises? Is God suddenly going to raise everyone with coronavirus from the dead? The brokenness is real right now. Bills are real. Stress is real. Isolation is real. Anxiety is real. Pain is real.
But the good news is: so is He.
The same God who healed back then amid a broken world is still alive today and still restores.
Jesus said, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you may have life, and life abundantly.”
Throughout recorded history, He’s been a healer for every brokenness: curing the sick, delivering people from demons, providing food and water and every physical need, and most of all, healing us from the sins that separate us from Him, if we choose to believe in Him.
And the same God who created the stars and planets and you, who says He knows every day of your life before one even began, who came to earth and gave His life to save you from all the brokenness of sin, invites you to give Him all of your cares today because He cares so deeply for you.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said. “Don’t be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink … look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
He promises He is with you, right here wherever you’re reading this, that He sees your situation, that He will never leave you, that He desires good for you, and that if you trust Him with your life, He will be faithful to show you His goodness in whatever crisis you’re facing.
He is Jehovah Rapha; it’s who He is.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11