Just look at the accounts of Jesus' healing ministry. He would touch a leper who needed to feel His compassion (Mark 1:40-42), put His own saliva on a mute man’s tongue while placing His fingers in his deaf ears (Mark 7:31-37), allow His healing power to flow out through the desperate touch of a bleeding women (Mark 5:25-34), cure a feverish woman by lifting her out of bed by the hand (Mark 1:29-31), and then heal blind Bartimaeus simply by His commanding word (Mark 10:46-52).
This sampling of gospel stories brings into sharp relief something so important about Jesus. There is no pattern, no formula with Him because He is no formula. He comes as a Person to meet us personally, individually, with a different script for our own healing as men. There is no one right way. The only right way is whatever Jesus does.
His way of handling healings is the way He handled all of His interactions. No one was a number. Each person had a story and a personal need. Everyone mattered, everyone was weighty, and everyone deserved His undivided attention. Above all else, Jesus hallowed the individual. He still operates the same way today. He longs for us to give Him permission to come to us personally in His own way, attending to our wounds, knowing our story, and understanding our griefs, for He knows us more than we will ever know ourselves. Yes, we can and should pray for physical healing, but our healing is to be so much more than from disease. It is to be from all the ravages of evil that divide, corrupt, and destroy the heart of every man. How do I know?
He comes as a Person to meet us personally, individually, with a different script for our own healing as men.
A number of years ago, I was in a really bad place. I was addicted to my work as a high school teacher and coach, leaving my wife feeling abandoned. In addition, I felt imprisoned by so many fears and compulsions that seemed invincible. Finally, I was tortured by continual intellectual doubt about my faith that sent me spinning into deep introversion. Out of desperation, we both went on a 5-day prayer retreat led by a couple who counseled us during the day and fed us gourmet dinners at night. The man who worked with me would give me a question each day to go out and ask God. It was a paradigm shift: I had never been instructed to listen to Him. Walking one afternoon, trying to listen and wondering if this were even possible, I heard five unmistakable words reverberating through my soul: “I want to heal you.” Jesus came and spoke in a way I could not doubt about His desire to heal me as a man. For the next 15 years, He took me on a very personal journey of healing, using the Scriptures, His personal words of encouragement, the love and counsel of others, and everyday events in my life. I am stunned now as I look back and see all that He has done.
How will it happen for each man reading this? I have no idea, but I can tell you this. It will be different than my story. Remember, He will come to us individually and heal us in His own unique way. Even though there may be similar themes, there are no carbon copy healings. I know this now from listening to the stories of other men and how Jesus has met them. We are each so valuable to Him, and He wants to attend to our individual stories, giving us exactly what we need, when we need it.
Jesus really is maddeningly, wildly unpredictable.
This New Year I’m so thankful He is.
Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has served as a pastor and a high school Bible teacher. Presently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries as a speaker, small group coach, and author of Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree and Landmarks: Turning Points on Your Journey Toward God. Bill and his wife have two grown daughters and reside in Franklin, TN. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillDelvaux.