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    25th June 2006

    healing…

    My niece and nephew, Emmy and Josiah, are beautiful and amazing children, and they have been ever-faithful in praying for me over the last year and a half. The fact that I have a problem that makes it so I can’t walk gives them something physical that they can relate to on some level and also gives them a clear focus and goal for their prayer. Their prayers are especially extraordinary and powerful because, at ages 3 and 5 the small doubt and questions of adulthood haven’t crept into their hearts and minds – and they believe entirely that I will walk someday. This being the case they figure it might as well be sooner than later.

    “I just can’t wait for Uncle Daryl to walk!” Josiah told his mom a couple of weeks ago at a bit of a family gathering. “But when will he walk?”

    “I don’t know,” Melissa told him, “When it’s the right time.” Josiah then returned with a better question than the first, “But how will he know when it’s the right time?”

    “He’ll know,” Melissa assured. And I heard this and knew it was true, and then I heard a thought (is it funny to “hear a thought”?) that when the right time came I would hear a voice calling me to “come!” or telling me to “go!” and do something, and then I wouldn’t really think about it but I would just get up and go.

    From the very beginning this website has had a thing about healing. Right away, it was in print on the web and in the paper that my family had faith that I would be healed. Through this site (and word of mouth) thousands of people have prayed and continue to pray for my physical healing. (Even more amazing is that now thousands of people are praying on Prayway.com, the online prayer community that my brother started after seeing the need for it while working on the site which bears my name.)

    Occasional updates have been written about how my overall healing and returning to life has been coming along. But I myself haven’t really fully addressed the issue of healing on this site (except for in some of my earliest updates, which can be found here: http://www.darylholmlund.com/journal.html). So here goes.

    While in the hospital, I read a book called You’re as Healed as You Are Saved by John Stocker, the pastor at Resurrection Fellowship here in town (I’ve mentioned this book before because I caught an error in his discussion of NT Greek while rereading it this year). In it he talks about asking for a specific word from God concerning your specific situation. This really makes sense to me and seems like truth – might I even say, scriptural truth? The Apostle Paul received a specific revelation concerning his thorn in the flesh and it seems like each miracle of healing reported in scripture was unique unto its own situation. (A further discussion of this will have to wait until someone asks me to fill in the missing parts of my writings and publish them or something like that.)

    So I asked God to speak to me concerning my situation. I said, “God will you heal me?”

    And the first thing he said was, “Whether I heal you or not, you can live a wonderful life and bring me glory.” And this has been generally how I have gone on thinking about healing: I’m not going to sit around waiting to walk again – I’m going to do the best with what I am given each and every day, whether I am given a lot or a very little and whether I can walk or not.

    (Warning: The next two paragraphs are not meant to be offensive and I feel like I am overlooking some things and showing a bit of immaturity in my thoughts here. My disclaimer ought to also include this: This little essay is intended to show my personal spiritual journey through SCI and is not given as criticism of the journeys of others or as a compendium of spiritual truths concerning healing.)

    There are some folks with spinal cord injuries who spend great amounts of time trying to find a cure for their problem or trying to retrain their body to work the way they want it to. I believe that these are worthy pursuits and am myself currently trying to get into an alternative therapy program. And there are Christians with injury or illness who spend time trying to find and master spiritual principles which unlock healing. This too is more than admirable, it is courageous and takes an incredible faith.

    But the last time I checked the Westminster Catechism, the chief end of man wasn’t to glorify God and enjoy him forever by walking. And the last time I did a personal evaluation, my goal in life wasn’t just to walk (though I wouldn’t mind being able to) – and while this next statement is something that I can write easily, really believing and living it is often a daily struggle: For a time at least, I might glorify God and enjoy him just as well or even better with a debilitating spinal cord injury than without.

    Returning to narrative mode… After a while I decided to ask God again, only this time I said, “God do you want to heal me?” And he replied with an emphatic, “Yes, oh course!” which didn’t make me feel stupid for asking, but let me know that he really meant it. And in this confidence I asked again, “Will you heal me?”

    And the day I asked this question I got a strange sort of answer. This same day I had been wondering why it was that all of Jesus’ disciples and the early Christians thought that he would return imminently – and yet here we are still waiting for Jesus to return to earth in the flesh (or whatever you might call the physical substance of the resurrection). So I wondered, “Jesus, why haven’t you come back to judge and to reign? Do you want to? Will you today?”

    The answer I heard was for both of my earlier question and this one was this: “Not yet. There is still more work to be done. But it won’t be long – work for me and you won’t even notice the time anymore…”

    And now fast forward to the present and what God has been teaching me lately. I asked God for a word for my situation right now, and he said, “Look into eternity.”

    This was an answer to many of the questions and discontents in my heart – discontents with where the church in North America is going and where I might fit it with that, and questions about global missions and where I might fit in with that. But specific to this little essay, looking into eternity revealed this to me: Faith for healing is at bottom faith in the salvation that Jesus began – faith that Heaven or the New Creation is a real place and in that place there will be no more tears.

    In Stocker’s book, You’re as Healed as You are Saved, one of the revelations that God gives to him is that it was ok for him to “say that he was healed” even though he was still sick. I think that what this word from God forces me to go to the base issue of faith. If I really believe that Jesus died that we might have eternal life then I can say with certainty that I will be completely healed. Though I certainly can’t say exactly what the healing of resurrection and new creation will be like, I don’t imagine I will have a great concern as to whether or not I can walk.

    So I’ll say it. I believe Jesus will heal me.

    This might be tonight or tomorrow or five days before I die – or five minutes – and it might be the moment Jesus calls to all of the saints no longer living… but I know that when I hear him calling, “Come!” I will, and then the months or years that I spend rolling around won’t seem like more than a few grains in the sands of eternity.

    9 comments

    9 Responses to “healing…”

    1. Daryl says:

      Someone I know who is really cool told me today that if I wanted people to comment on by site and give me critical advice on my writing or whatnot that I should reply when folks leave comments – and so maybe I will start – and right now I’m starting by trying to start a thread to post on…

    2. Abbie says:

      It would not be selfish for you to pursue a therapy program to help you learn to walk. It would also not be selfish (of course) for you to pray for healing on your terms. However, it is amazingly UNselfish of you to allow your life to be lived completely and totally on God’s terms. It will bring more glory to Him when he does heal you by the fact that you were content and loved Him even if He had not. You have removed the limiting box of human logic that we, as humans, always try to fit God into. I will pray for you to continue to look into eternity. What an honor your life is to the Lord, Daryl- whether you are rolling around or running around. How great it will be to see you run.

    3. Dierdre Cook says:

      Daryl,
      You have proven that God never gives us more than we can handle. It is not ours to judge the circumstances of life, but rather to lean totally on God for strength. I have thought and prayed for you for the last 18 months, and yet what I get everytime I come to your site, I get stength and renewal that God does love us and has an amazing plan for our life. Faith is the greatest gift. I remember watching you run at LHS (my daughter was in your class) it is that same sense of determination that a runner has that gives Christians the charge to run for Christ in all that we do. Thanks goodness that these earthly bodies will fade away and our eternal bodies will be free from disease and pain. Yet, it is the failing of our bodies that keeps us close to God and remembering our need to lean only on him.

    4. Loren says:

      You need good conversation starters for conversation, like a coffee table book. I suggest more links to coffee table books in your posts.

    5. Carrie says:

      dear brother, I am so encouraged and filled with more faith of my own in response to your blog this week. I am excited because you are learning and living close to God and not just leaving things be, but searching out truth. I pray healing for you- body, mind and soul. May Jesus restore life to you as he intends it to be. I love you. Carrie
      ps I am honored to have a little engagement announcement on your website!

    6. Daryl says:

      Yah, so I think maybe I’ll say something about this on the frontpage at some point, too, but I suppose in that last post at least, the type of “healing” that I am talking about is the full and complete type that comes with no strings attached. I think that at some point in the this-worldly-not-so-distant-future, through either lots and lots of hard work or a miracle of modern medicine I might get to the point where I can use my legs a bit more than I can right now. I have this funny picture of me using those arm brace crutches and using my spasms to get up large hills of sorts – you might know what I’m talking about, and if not its ok. I think that God is absolutely working healing through medicine and through the efforts of folks in PT, but I think that for me to ever – lets say, get up and run – it would take a full blown beyond earthly understanding miracle.

    7. beepbeepitsme says:

      ‘No health benefit’ from prayer
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3193902.stm

    8. Daryl says:

      Ms. Beepbeep,

      At first I wasn’t sure if your comment was spam or not – and it might be, but I figured I would post your comment because it is an interesting article and your website is also quite interesting – and because I think it’s only fair to give folks who think differently a chance to air their thoughts.

      I myself believe that I have been receiving the healing benefits of prayer over my whole lifetime, and especially in the last 20 months since my spinal cord injury, though I have not been “healed” of this injury and am still a wheelchair-using paraplegic. Not to brag but I am a rather well-adjusted paraplegic and I’m able to spread love and encouragement to more people now than I was able to to able-bodied. Part of this is the way that people who respond a smiley (I can’t help smiling most of the time) 21-year-old (who looks like a little boy) in a wheelchair – but I simply have to believe that some of the reason I have been able to influence so many people is because of the thousands and thousands of people who have been praying for me since the day of my accident. You should check out some of the posts on the message board of my old website at
      http://darylholmlund.com/board/index.php?s=08bd10900fe813c66156b32cf2570d38&showtopic=2&st=0&#entry2

      I dare you to read through several pages worth of those prayers and see how it affects you. I wouldn’t be surprised if it made you angry, especially at first. Why would people – so many people – spend so much time praying for someone… Especially since prayer is shown in studies not to have an effective health benefit? And even most Christians have to admit that in situations like this it’s still more or less a “coin flip” as to whether “God will HEAL” a sick or injured person, or in my case a half dozen times, whether “God would ALLOW” that person to continue living on earth – that whether there are people praying for healing or not, it is still in “God’s will” or “good pleasure” whether each individual finds healing or not.

      I say these things and give no answer but instead merely challenge you to read through some of those prayers and notes – or check our http://www.prayway.com, the site that my brother created after seeing the potential for prayer on the internet through my website.

      On one final note, I checked out the stuff that you have posted most recently on your website and must note that the type of things put there remind me of my worldview during high school, though I wasn’t an atheist as you appear to be. The writings on your page are quite flippant, and by this I mean that you seem to assume that a joke can and should be made (or that the joke exists and need not be told because just the mention of that person or place or thing is funny) about almost everything – or at least everything within a certain category, in this case “the religious”. This is a risky way to view the world and I think not very satisfying in the end. But I suppose you must try both ways to make a good judgment.

      Here is my prayer for you: That you may find a hunger for knowledge and truth and that that hunger be full satisfied.

      Godspeed,
      Daryl

    9. beepbeepitsme says:

      Ty for your reply and for your open-mindedness. I know that many people believe that prayer can heal. The processes of belief are certainly very interesting. Personally, I think that if there is any benefit to be derived from prayer, it is not in the existence of the deity where the benefit might be found, but in the physiological changes which may or may not occur through the process of positive thinking.

      This process of positive thinking or prayer or non-religious affirmations, might trigger biological responses in the body which then might increase the overall level of “feeling well.”

      A study was done on the brains of buddhist monks for example. Monks who have meditated for decades. What the study suggested was that years of meditation, or a “certain way of thinking or non-thinking” had altered the nature of the brain.

      It did NOT prove that buddha existed, or yahweh or odin, or whoever was being meditated to, but what it did suggest was that a “biological process” might be being triggered in the brain.

      Meditation Alters Brain Patterns

      http://home.att.net/~meditation/monks.brains.html

      Meditation Gives Brain A Charge

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html

      So, I suppose that as an atheist what I am saying is that positive thinking might be beneficial towards individual survival. The studies suggest this. But it just might be the “process of believing” which is having the effect, not the object, person, concept or meme, which is being believed in. That is: ~ We might be encouraging our brain to help us make ourselves well.

      I have lost the link to your page. But if you would like to post this there, please feel free to do so. If not, thank you for your open-minded reply.

      May Darwin bless your gene pool with many beneficial mutations.

      beepbeep

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.