When it comes to our healing, most of us will run ourselves ragged...and deep into poverty. We will chase every dream, every promise. We will buy every snake oil. We will travel great distances, listen to thousands of voices, spend millions of dollars. We will subject ourselves, and our bodies, and our souls to anything that claims to have a promise.
And still, we too often come up short.
At this point, a lot of Christians would probably run to the Bible and point out that Jesus is the source of our healing. They would tell the stories of all the healings that God performed, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and they would encourage us to just run to Jesus right away and be healed. Hallelujah!
But that kind of reading - and I admit that at times in the past, I have been guilty of this very thing - miss the truth about these stories. They miss the bigger picture of human nature and brokenness.
Because the truth is that these human characters in these miraculous healing stories...most of the time, they are just like us.
The bleeding woman who pushed through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus's robe, whose story is told as a wild example of amazing faith...had already spent all of her money and more than a decade pursuing every doctor she could find. Every healing remedy. Every snake oil. She'd tried them all until she'd run out of every single option. Then, there's Jesus.
The blind men who stood on the side of the road and cried out to Jesus as He passed by - that wasn't the first time in their lives they thought about being healed. That wasn't the first thing they tried. When you live a disabled life, it doesn't just pop into your head one day that maybe this new thing might heal you; you are always looking for the new thing that might heal you. Then, along comes Jesus.
The Bible tells us about a man who sat next to what was supposed to be a healing pool for years, hoping that he would be first one to touch the water, even though that meant someone else - someone else near the pool, who had to have been there for their own healing - would have had to give up their healing to move him toward his. Then, there was God.
In the Old Testament, Naaman had exhausted the depths of his own very advanced nation to try to figure out a cure for his skin disease. He was high up in the kingdom, an officer; he had access to every one of the best doctors and magicians and soothsayers and everyone else who might offer even a glimmer of hope, and he'd come up empty. Then, he goes to Israel to see the man of God.
There's a father whose child is possessed by a demon, and the minute that father meets Jesus, he declares, "I've tried everything else."
And there it is. There we are. That's us. We've tried everything else. Then, there's Jesus.
What if...He wasn't?