Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cure or healing?

At Living Room on Friday we're going to discuss the difference between cure and healing. Jesus asked the blind Bartimeus, "What do you want?" "I want my sight," Bartimeus said to Him. And Jesus healed him.

There are so many stories like this in the Bible. On Friday I will ask the question, "What would you ask Jesus for if He asked you what you wanted?" "Would you ask for a cure for your mood disorder? Or would you ask for healing?" And what's the difference anyway?

Ezine Articles has a good piece about the difference between the two, written by Wil Langford.

Myself? I don't think I'd ask Jesus for a cure. Who I've become and the purpose I have found for my life is too much tied to my disorder. If I didn't have bipolar disorder God would not have given me the work I do. And I like the work I do. It's challenging. It's rewarding. Helping other people and trying to erase the stigma attached to mental illness is what my struggles have prepared me for.

Yes, I don't want a cure. But I do want healing. I want the peace of knowing that God is there for me in my struggles - especially my struggles with depression. I pray for strength and the ability to accept and deal with whatever difficulties might come along.

Isn't healing far better than a cure? When God heals us we become whole people. A cure isn't necessarily going to do that for us.

May God heal you, whatever problems you might be dealing with. May God bless you.

12 comments:

Wendy Love said...

Marja,
This is quite profound! I am going to have to think about the difference between cure and healing before I answer. But I am feeling quite desperate and greedy this morning and so maybe I will ask for both!
You would probably enjoy the quote I found by Helen Keller because you would totally agree with her!
"I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God."

Thanks for asking a challenging question and making me think.

love Wendy

marja said...

Hi Wendy,

Yes, it IS profound isn't it? Something very much worth thinking about.

I love that quote by Helen Keller as well, and even used it in my first book. Think I'll bring that up at Living Room too. Thanks for reminding me about it.

marja

Anonymous said...

I wonder if we could benefit from both. Healing as in what was lost but has now moved/transitioned into something meaningful in our lives even if we are cured. The two concepts may even be turned into one/work together if looked at in certain ways.

Just a few thoughts....more discussion needed of course on this very big topic!!

K. in WR

(Marja, please email me, I'd like to get together!)

marja said...

Hi K in WR,

Good to hear from you, K.!

I think it's possible to be cured of an illness and yet not to be healed. Often healing comes later. Actually, I think every single person, whether they're dealing with illness or not, needs healing. They need to be made whole - to find inner peace - to find what God intended them to be.

Personally, I wouldn't ask God for a cure, I'd ask for healing.

Love,
marja

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, interesting thoughts which do make sense. I guess for me I'm at the stage where healing parts of life that need healing are important and I have examined these areas. This type of healing, I think, can then help help a person move forward and integrate all that they have learned into their daily life. This can be true for many people. It's a rich gift for all. I guess that for me, healing is important and necessary for a full life experience. A person needs to recognize their need to experience healing and wholeness. This is what will help them move forward. However if there was a way to be cured in addition to healing and combine the two somehow (effects over lifespan) I would greatly accept it. Perhaps I feel like this because I have told I have a severe form of the illness, and can, at many times, suffer greatly.

It would be interesting to have a large group discussion about this, perhaps with some pastoral input.

K.

marja said...

Hi K.

If you can come to Brentwood Park Alliance Church at noon today, we will be discussing it, and there will be a pastor there. Address is 1410 Delta Avenue, Burnaby (just east of Brentwood Mall). Would love for you to join us. Have lunch with us.

Love, marja

Anonymous said...

Sorry...have a Dr. appt. at 1:30pm, but I did email you with some ideas. Thank you for thinking about me. Talk to you soon!

marja said...

Too bad, K. Maybe another time.

marja

More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

You wrote so well and I feel such kindred spirit in you whenever I read your posts! I am learning a lot from you too. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your faith in God with us.

I am in the midst of going through a relapse of depression. When I am severely depressed, I sometimes cannot find any meaning or purpose in my sufferings. I sometimes feel miserable to have bipolar disorder. But when I am better or well, the Lord gives me much joy and strength to serve Him with the creativity and energy that comes with bipolar. Like you, I love the work the Lord gives me to do each day and I found much joy in sharing His love and comforts with others who are suffering.

I realized that my own sufferings were part of God's preparation for me to serve Him. So I am praying too for strength and the ability to accept and deal with whatever difficulties might come along. I am comforted that God is with me and He is working out His divine purposes in His love, and He is making me more useful in time to come. Thank God for giving me kindred spirit such as you and many others! Take care!

With love and prayers,
Nancie

marja said...

Dear Nancie,

I'm so very sorry you're having troubles once more. I know that, though we realize good can come from it, it's little consolation while we're going through depression. It doesn't make it any easier to live with.

I'm having some troubles of my own right now and pray that God will help me cope as I see my way through it.

Love, marja

More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

I am sorry that you too are having some troubles now. I am praying for you. May our Lord strengthen and restore you speedily.

I have been re-reading portions of your book "A Firm Place to Stand" and am greatly blessed and encouraged by the ways God has been helping you to manage your condition through all the ups and downs over the years. As I read your book, I am finding answers to many of my struggles and it is so encouraging to know that someone else has been down the same road and have found ways to cope with God's enabling. It gives me hope that I too can slowly learn to cope better and be more functional by God's grace and in His time.

As I read your book, I feel as if you are just sitting beside me, holding on to my hand and telling me that I will make it by God's grace just as He is helping you to do so. So how I wish that I can be with you now in your struggles, to hold your hand and to hug you, and let you know that God will see you through just as He has done in the past! I will be praying for you daily. The Lord is near to you and He will continue to hold you tight. May His love strengthens you day by day. Take care!

With love and prayers,
Nancie

marja said...

Dear Nancie,

How you encourage me! Perhaps I should read the book again myself once in a while to remind me.

You're a dear. And sometimes I think of how wonderful it would be to meet and talk with each other.

Today I've been struggling to stop brooding so much. Trying to "do" things. I made a bean salad for my pastor and his wife and will deliver it tonight. That boosted my spirit some.

We'll pray for each other, ok?

Love, marja