Healing Praises

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH, The Lord is my strength and song; He has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

Tonight I experienced the magic of worship at sunset. I’ve been extra under the weather lately. The onslaught of new physical breakdowns in my body feels steady, and I keep reminding God that we are supposed to be moving toward healing, not away from it.

But I’m not God. I’m not in control, and control has never equaled peace.

So I choose peace over seeking control over a body that has never truly been mine to begin with.

On my knees in my prayer closet this morning, I laid out activities before the Lord, asking for wisdom regarding which ones line up with His heart for me and my offerings to the world and which ones are simply my own shame-based ties of obligation.

And He asked me, “When do you feel well/ healed?”

My answer fell out of my mouth automatically: “When I’m singing and playing worship. When I’m worshipping You.”

He said clearly, “I’m calling you as a worshiper.” This didn’t answer all my questions. There are “good” and “dutiful” activities that will lead to the disappointment of others if I do not attend. But if this set of illnesses is going to linger until my time of healing, which only God knows, then I must seek His heart on how He is calling me to live out my life in this incredibly valuable liminal space.

When energy is precious, it is vital that I engage in the anointed activities in which I experience His strength being made perfect in my weakness; the ones in which others have seen my actual physiognomy transformed to the point that they can say with deep conviction: “When you sing praises to God, you no longer look ill. It’s like it heals you while you praise Him.”

I didn’t really know that this type of healing existed: One in which we are healed in our act of obedience to the call the Lord has placed on our life, and then we return to our place of weakness in the in between. But I can show you to cold data of my heart rate chart when I’m worshipping. It is never more stable than it is when I’m leading others in songs of worship. Why would God lead to me sing continually in an ICU bed that the enemy fought to turn into my death bed? Because my healing and ultimately my miracle survival of a fatal situation was in God working in my body in that space occupied by that act of worship in song. Hour upon hour upon hour, I sang every song I knew and learned more as I scoured YouTube for new worship to learn. And I left that hospital healthier than I was before the sepsis entered my body; Also more on fire for Jesus than ever before.

If I’m being honest, healing is a mystery that frustrates me more than many of the other mysteries of the kingdom. Often, I have felt hot tears rolling down my cheeks as I poured out my anger on my closet floor over seemingly unanswered prayers for healing, death that feels agonizingly inappropriate and unnatural, and lives cut painfully short or lives limited in ways that cause continual suffering.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand the promises that I have heard for healing and what looks like empty hands of a benevolent God who clearly loves me but has yet to deliver me from my prolonged and increasingly painful suffering.

But this I know: when I sing, something happens in my body. As my spirit shifts in worship, my physical existence aligns with the posture of my Spirit and finds temporary healing. Could it be a taste of heaven? Possibly. Could it be a sweet gift from the Father who says, “Trust me. I know you, love you, and am sovereign.”?

I don’t need a label for it. I’ll take it.

The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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