My 5-year-old son is mostly a daredevil. It used to terrify me, but once I realized that God has given this gift to him and will take care of him, I found (more) peace watching him play. But with his daredevil mentality comes MANY falls, bruises, scrapes and cuts. I’ve been amazed at how a simple band-aid can fix practically anything for him. Apparently, I’ve forgotten that they have magical healing powers.
Adults don’t usually receive the flesh wounds from jumping off the of things, or learning to ride a bike. Typically, our wounds are not anything a band-aid can fix: illness, emotional pain or even just stress from the heaviness of life. This is when we seek out doctors to heal our medical issues; psychiatrists to heal our mental concerns and massage therapists to heal our tired, achy muscles. People don’t always need initials after their name to provide some healing to others. Friends and loved ones can help relieve a heavy heart. But only God can do ALL of these things and heal us fully.
There is a lot of meaning behind names. So, what is the name you call God? Today, for our Names of God series, let’s focus on God as healer, Yahweh Rapha.
I am the Lord who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)
I interpret this verse in Exodus as result of God’s frustration with the Israelites who had just watched Moses, through God, part the Red Sea. Only three days into the journey of Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, they were hungry and thirsty. They came to Marah but couldn’t drink the water because it was bitter. The people began grumbling and turned their anger and frustration toward Moses.
“Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.” (Exodus 15:25 NIV)
It was then that God gave further instruction and we begin to know Him as Healer:
He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes; if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
I like the way Wendy Blight puts it in her book I Know His Name, Discovering Power in the Names of God. She tells us that “God calls us to trust in Him no matter our circumstances. He gives us His names so that we can know Him. Friends, we only trust those we know and we cannot trust God if we don’t know God.”
And so, God sent Jesus to show us that relationships are more important than rules – especially our relationship with our healer – Yahweh Rapha.
One of my favorite stories of Jesus healing is found in Mark. Here, we learn of an unnamed woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years and was immediately healed simply by touching Jesus’ robe as He walked by (Mark 5:29). I love this because we see the incredible faith of this woman who KNEW that by touching even His robe, she would be healed. It also reveals a little of how the healing powers of Jesus worked.
The Bible said, “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” Mark 5:30. Jesus’ healing wasn’t just something He did, Jesus actually FELT His healing powers.
And finally, I love this because it shows that for Jesus, He needed the connection. He didn’t like knowing He healed someone, but didn’t actually SEE them or SPEAK to them. “But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” Mark 5:32.
God wants to be connected to us.
In the story of Lazarus being brought back to life, I love how Jesus didn’t rush to save him. He had Mary and Martha wait a couple days when Lazarus was sick before He visited and healed him – bringing him back to life.
It is here, that I first learned crying isn’t only okay, it’s an important part of God’s healing.
In each of the four gospels, the writers all made mention of Jesus weeping. John says this after Jesus spoke with Mary: When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept“. (John 11:33-35 NIV).
Jesus was comforted by the healing powers of His tears.
Today, most of the healing we see daily isn’t as dramatic as it was in the Bible. That doesn’t matter. What really matters is that we know God so well, that when difficulty and challenges arrive, we have the faith to sustain us and become better through it all.
Just like the Israelites, the bleeding woman and Mary and Martha, we are given opportunities along our journey to trust that God will provide for our needs. What’s important is that we build our relationship with Him, stay connected and that we realize, we need to cry sometimes.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
And it is in this verse that we learn Yahweh Rapha comes with the biggest and best magical healing band-aid around.
He can cure us all.